2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Gordon
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 28 OF CHAPTER 304, LAWS OF 2003, AND SECTIONS 25-43-1.101, 25-43-1.102, 25-43-3.111, 25-43-3.112 AND 25-43-3.113, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DELAY THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 28 of Chapter 304, Laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows:
Section 28. Section 27 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage. The remainder of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.
SECTION 2. Section 25-43-1.101, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-43-1.101. (1) This chapter may be cited as the "Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law."
(2) This chapter is intended to provide a minimum procedural code for the operation of all state agencies when they take action affecting the rights and duties of the public. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as invalidating any rule or regulation adopted before July 1, 2007, if such rule or regulation was properly adopted in accordance with the law as it existed at the time of adoption. Nothing in this chapter is meant to discourage agencies from adopting procedures providing greater protections to the public or conferring additional rights upon the public; and save for express provisions of this chapter to the contrary, nothing in this chapter is meant to abrogate in whole or in part any statute prescribing procedural duties for an agency which are greater than or in addition to those provided here. This chapter is meant to apply to all rule-making that is not specifically excluded from this chapter or some portion thereof by its express terms or by the express terms of another chapter.
The purposes of the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law are: to provide legislative oversight of powers and duties delegated to administrative agencies; to increase public accountability of administrative agencies; to simplify government by assuring a uniform minimum procedure to which all agencies will be held in the conduct of their most important functions; to increase public access to governmental information; and to increase public participation in the formulation of administrative rules. In accomplishing its objectives, the intention of this chapter is to strike a fair balance between these purposes and the need for efficient, economical and effective government administration. This chapter is not meant to alter the substantive rights of any person or agency. Its impact is limited to procedural rights with the expectation that better substantive results will be achieved in the everyday conduct of state government by improving the process by which those results are attained.
(3) From and after July 1, 2007, any reference to the Mississippi Administrative Procedure Act, the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Act, the Mississippi Administrative Procedure Law, or the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law, being Section 25-43-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be deemed to mean and refer to this chapter.
SECTION 3. Section 25-43-1.102, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-43-1.102. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Agency" means a board, commission, department, officer or other administrative unit of this state, including the agency head, and one or more members of the agency head or agency employees directly or indirectly purporting to act on behalf or under the authority of the agency head. The term does not include the Legislature or any of its component units, the judiciary or any of its component units or the Governor. The term does not include a political subdivision of the state or any of the administrative units of a political subdivision. Furthermore, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, or any college or university thereunder, shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter until July 1, 2007, at which time this exemption shall stand repealed. To the extent it purports to exercise authority subject to any provision of this chapter, an administrative unit otherwise qualifying as an "agency" must be treated as a separate agency even if the unit is located within or subordinate to another agency.
(b) "Agency head" or "head of the agency" means an individual or body of individuals in whom the ultimate legal authority of the agency is vested by any provision of law.
(c) "Agency proceeding" or "proceeding" means the process by which an agency considers:
(i) A declaratory opinion pursuant to Section 25-43-2.103, or
(ii) A rule pursuant to Article III of this chapter.
(d) "Agency record" means the official rule-making record of an agency pursuant to Section 25-43-3.112.
(e) "Declaratory opinion" means an agency opinion rendered in accordance with the provisions of Section 25-43-2.103.
(f) "Order" means an agency action of particular applicability that determines the legal rights, duties, privileges, immunities or other legal interests of one or more specific persons. An order shall be in writing signed by a person with authority to render the order, or if more than one (1) person has such authority by at least that number of such persons as jointly have the authority to render the order, or by a person authorized to render the order on behalf of all such persons. The term does not include an executive order issued by the Governor pursuant to Section 25-43-1.104, an opinion issued by the Attorney General pursuant to Section 7-5-25, an opinion issued by the Ethics Commission pursuant to Section 25-4-17, or a declaratory opinion rendered in accordance with Section 25-43-2.103.
(g) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental subdivision or unit thereof, or public or private organization or entity of any character, and includes another agency.
(h) "Provision of law" or "law" means the whole or a part of the federal or state Constitution, or of any federal or state (i) statute, (ii) case law or common law, (iii) rule of court, (iv) executive order, or (v) rule or order of an administrative agency.
(i) "Rule" means the whole or a part of an agency regulation or other statement of general applicability that implements, interprets or prescribes:
(i) Law or policy, or
(ii) The organization, procedure or practice requirements of an agency. The term includes the amendment, repeal or suspension of an existing rule. "Rule" does not include:
1. A regulation or statement concerning only the internal management of an agency which does not directly and substantially affect the procedural or substantive rights or duties of any segment of the public;
2. A regulation or statement that establishes criteria or guidelines to be used by the staff of an agency in performing audits, investigations or inspections, settling commercial disputes, negotiating commercial arrangements or in the defense, prosecution or settlement of cases, if disclosure of the criteria or guidelines would:
a. Enable law violators to avoid detection;
b. Facilitate disregard of requirements imposed by law; or
c. Give a clearly improper advantage to persons who are in an adverse position to the state;
3. A regulation or statement that only establishes specific prices to be charged for particular goods or services sold by an agency;
4. A regulation or statement concerning only the physical servicing, maintenance or care of agency owned or operated facilities or property;
5. A regulation or statement relating only to the use of a particular facility or property owned, operated or maintained by the state or any of its subdivisions, if the substance of the regulation or statement is adequately indicated by means of signs or signals to persons who use the facility or property;
6. A regulation or statement directly related only to inmates of a correctional or detention facility, students enrolled in an educational institution or patients admitted to a hospital, if adopted by that facility, institution or hospital;
7. A form whose contents or substantive requirements are prescribed by rule or statute, and instructions for the execution or use of the form;
8. An agency budget;
9. A compact or agreement between an agency of this state and one or more agencies of another state or states; or
10. An opinion of the Attorney General pursuant to Section 7-5-25, an opinion of the Ethics Commission pursuant to Section 25-4-17, or an Executive Order of the Governor.
(j) "Rule-making" means the process for formulation and adoption of a rule.
SECTION 4. Section 25-43-3.111, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-43-3.111. (1) A rule adopted after July 1, 2007, is invalid unlessadopted in substantial compliance with the provisions of Sections 25-43-3.102 through 25-43-3.110. Inadvertent failure to mail a notice of proposed rule adoption to any person as required by Section 25-43-3.103(2) does not invalidate a rule.
(2) An action to contest the validity of a rule on the grounds of its noncompliance with any provision of Sections 25-43-3.102 through 25-43-3.110 must be commenced within one (1) year after the effective date of the rule.
SECTION 5. Section 25-43-3.112, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-43-3.112. An agency shall file in the Office of the Secretary of State each rule it adopts and all rules existing on July 1, 2007, that have not previously been filed. The filing must be done as soon after adoption of the rule as is practicable. At the time of filing, each rule adopted after July 1, 2007, must have included in or attached to it the material set out in Section 25-43-3.109. The Secretary of State shall affix to each rule and statement a certification of the date of filing and keep a permanent register open to public inspection of all filed rules and attached material. In filing a rule, each agency shall use a standard format prescribed by the Secretary of State.
SECTION 6. Section 25-43-3.113, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-43-3.113. (1) Except to the extent subsection (2) or (3) of this section provides otherwise, each rule adopted after July 1, 2007, becomes effective thirty (30) days after its proper filing in the Office of the Secretary of State.
(2) (a) A rule becomes effective on a date later than that established by subsection (1) of this section if a later date is required by another statute or specified in the rule.
(b) A rule may become effective immediately upon its filing or on any subsequent date earlier than that established by subsection (1) of this section if the agency establishes such an effective date and finds that:
(i) It is required by Constitution, statute or court order;
(ii) The rule only confers a benefit or removes a restriction on the public or some segment thereof;
(iii) The rule only delays the effective date of another rule that is not yet effective; or
(iv) The earlier effective date is necessary because of imminent peril to the public health, safety or welfare.
(c) The finding and a brief statement of the reasons therefor required by paragraph (b) of this subsection must be made a part of the rule. In any action contesting the effective date of a rule made effective under paragraph (b) of this subsection, the burden is on the agency to justify its finding.
(d) A temporary rule may become effective immediately upon its filing or on any subsequent date earlier than that established by subsection (1) of this section.
(e) Each agency shall make a reasonable effort to make known to persons who may be affected by it a rule made effective before any date established by subsection (1) of this section.
(3) This section does not relieve an agency from compliance with any provision of law requiring that some or all of its rules be approved by other designated officials or bodies before they become effective.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.