2005 West Virginia Code - §29A-1-4. — Application of open governmental proceedings law.

§29A-1-4. Application of open governmental proceedings law.

(a) All meetings of an agency, board or commission of the executive branch of government or of the legislative rule-making review committee which may only be convened upon the presence of a required quorum, and which are convened for the purpose of making a decision or deliberating toward a decision as to the form and substance of a rule, as defined in subsection (i), section two of this article, are subject to the open governmental proceedings law as set forth in article nine-a, chapter six of this code, except as may otherwise be provided for in this section.
(b) When an agency, board or commission is considering the form and substance of a rule or proposed rule, the informal occurrence of (1) consultations between the governing members of the agency, board or commission and its staff members, (2) deliberations by the governing members, or (3) the engagement of a governing member or members in the process of making a decision, does not constitute a meeting within the meaning of article nine-a, chapter six of this code when, during such stages, neither a quorum nor the convening of the governing members of the agency, board or commission is required.
(c) When the legislative rule-making review committee is considering the form and substance of a rule or proposed rule, the informal occurrence of (1) consultations between the members of the committee and its staff members, (2) deliberations by the governing members, or (3) the engagement of a governing member or members in the process of making a decision, does not constitute a meeting within the meaning of article nine-a, chapter six of this code when, during such stages, neither a quorum nor the convening of the members of the committee is required.
(d) After public hearing or the close of the public comment period, during which hearing or period an agency, board or commission has received statements concerning the form and substance of a rule or proposed rule, the agency, board or commission shall not permit the filing or receipt of, nor shall it consider, any attempted ex parte communications directed to it in the form of additional comment, prior to the submission of its final agency-approved rule to the legislative rule-making review committee pursuant to the provisions of section eleven, article three of this chapter. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the agency, board or commission from soliciting or receiving information relating to the rule or proposed rule from the federal government, from the Legislature or its members, or from another agency, board or commission of the executive branch of the government of this state.
(e) After a proposed rule is approved for submission and is submitted to the legislative rule-making review committee pursuant to the provisions of section eleven, article three of this chapter, the right of the people to assemble, to petition government, to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply for redress of grievances, in accordance with the provisions of section sixteen, article III of the Constitution, shall reserve to a person the right to freely communicate, ex parte or otherwise, with the agency, board or commission or the legislative rule-making review committee in attempts to influence deliberations or decision-making regarding the form and substance of the proposed rule prior to authorization being granted for promulgation of the rule.

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