The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 003 : Rulemaking; Procedures; Guidance Documents(Cite as: 3 V.S.A. § 844)
§ 844. Emergency rules
(a) Where an agency believes that there exists an imminent peril to public health, safety, or welfare, it may adopt an emergency rule. The rule may be adopted without having been prefiled or filed in proposed or final proposed form, and may be adopted after whatever notice and hearing the agency finds to be practicable under the circumstances. The agency shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that emergency rules are known to persons who may be affected by them.
(b) Emergency rules adopted under this section shall not remain in effect for more than 180 days. An agency may propose a permanent rule on the same subject at the same time that it adopts an emergency rule.
(c) Emergency rules adopted under this section shall be filed with the Secretary of State and with the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules shall distribute copies of emergency rules to the appropriate standing committees.
(d) Emergency rules adopted under this section shall include:
(1) as much of the information required for the filing of a proposed rule as is practicable under the circumstances; and
(2) a signed and dated statement by the adopting authority explaining the nature of the imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare and approving of the contents of the rules.
(e)(1) On a majority vote of the entire Committee, the Committee may object under this subsection if an emergency rule is:
(A) beyond the authority of the agency;
(B) contrary to the intent of the Legislature;
(C) arbitrary; or
(D) not necessitated by an imminent peril to public health, safety, or welfare sufficient to justify adoption of an emergency rule.
(2) When objection is made under this subsection, on majority vote of the entire Committee, the Committee may file the objection in certified form with the Secretary of State. The objection shall contain a concise statement of the Committee's reasons for its action. The Secretary shall affix to each objection a certification of its filing and as soon as practicable transmit a copy to the agency. After a Committee objection is filed with the Secretary under this subsection, to the extent that the objection covers a rule or portion of a rule, the burden of proof thereafter shall be on the agency in any action for judicial review or for enforcement of the rule to establish that the part objected to is within the authority delegated to the agency, is consistent with the intent of the Legislature, is not arbitrary, and is justified by an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare. If the agency fails to meet its burden of proof, the court shall declare the whole or portion of the rule objected to invalid. The failure of the Committee to object to a rule is not an implied legislative authorization of its substantive or procedural lawfulness.
(3) When the Committee makes an objection to an emergency rule under this subsection, the agency may withdraw the rule to which an objection was made. Prior to withdrawal, the agency shall give notice to the Committee of its intent to withdraw the rule. A rule shall be withdrawn upon the filing of a notice of withdrawal with the Secretary of State and the Committee. If the emergency rule amended an existing rule, upon withdrawal of the emergency rule, the existing rule shall revert to its original form, as though the emergency rule had never been adopted.
(f) In response to an expressed concern of the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, an agency may make a germane change to an emergency rule that is approved by the Committee. A change under this subsection shall not be considered a newly adopted emergency rule and shall not extend the period during which the emergency rule remains in effect.
(g) In the alternative to the grounds specified in subsection (a) of this section, an agency may adopt emergency amendments to existing rules using the process set forth in this section if each of the subdivisions (1)-(5) of this subsection applies. On a majority vote of the entire Committee, the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules may object to the emergency amendments on the basis that one or more of these subdivisions do not apply or under subdivision (e)(1)(A), (B), or (C) of this section, or both.
(1) The existing rules implement a program controlled by federal statute or rule or by a multistate entity.
(2) The controlling federal statute or rule has been amended to require a change in the program or the multistate entity has made a change in the program that is to be implemented in all of the participating states.
(3) The controlling federal statute or rule or the multistate entity requires implementation of the change within 120 days or less.
(4) The adopting authority finds each of the following in writing:
(A) The agency cannot by the date required for implementation complete the final adoption of amended rules using the process set forth in sections 837 through 843 of this title.
(B) Failure to amend the rules by the date required for implementation would cause significant harm to the public health, safety, or welfare or significant financial loss to the State.
(5) On the date the emergency rule amendments are adopted pursuant to this subsection, the adopting authority prefiles a corresponding permanent rule pursuant to section 837 of this title. (Added 1981, No. 82, § 6; amended 1995, No. 61, § 2; 2011, No. 89 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2017, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)