§431:30-112  Rules and operating procedures; rulemaking functions of the commission and rejection of uniform standards.  (a)  The commission shall adopt reasonable rules, including uniform standards, and operating procedures to effectively and efficiently achieve the purposes of this compact.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event the commission exercises its rulemaking authority in a manner that is beyond the scope of the purposes of this article or the powers granted hereunder, such action by the commission shall be invalid and have no force and effect.

     (b)  Rules and operating procedures shall be made pursuant to a rulemaking process that conforms to the Model State Administrative Procedure Act of 1981, as amended, as may be appropriate to the operations of the commission.  Before the commission adopts a uniform standard, the commission shall give written notice to the relevant state legislative committees in each compacting state responsible for insurance issues of its intention to adopt the uniform standard.  In adopting a uniform standard, the commission shall consider fully all submitted materials and issue a concise explanation of its decision.

     (c)  A uniform standard shall become effective ninety days after its adoption by the commission or such later date as the commission may determine; provided that a compacting state may "opt out" of a uniform standard as provided in this article.  "Opt out" shall be defined as any action by a compacting state to decline to adopt or participate in an adopted uniform standard.  All other rules and operating procedures, and amendments thereto, shall become effective as of the date specified in each rule, operating procedure, or amendment.

     (d)  A compacting state may opt out of a uniform standard, either by legislation or by rule adopted by the insurance commissioner.  If a compacting state elects to opt out of a uniform standard by rule, it shall:

     (1)  Give written notice to the commission no later than ten business days after the later of the adoption of the uniform standard or the state becoming a compacting state; and

     (2)  Find that the uniform standard does not provide reasonable protections to the citizens of the state, given the conditions in the state.  The commissioner shall make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law, based on a preponderance of the evidence, detailing the conditions in the state that warrant a departure from the uniform standard and determining that the uniform standard would not reasonably protect the citizens of the state.  The commissioner shall consider and balance the following factors and find that the conditions in the state and needs of the citizens of the state outweigh:

          (A)  The intent of the legislature to participate in, and reap the benefits of, an interstate agreement to establish national uniform consumer protections for the products subject to this article; and

          (B)  The presumption that a uniform standard adopted by the commission provides reasonable protections to consumers of the relevant product.

          Notwithstanding the foregoing, a compacting state may, at the time of its enactment of this compact, prospectively opt out of all uniform standards involving long-term care insurance products by expressly providing for such opt out in the enacted compact, and such an opt out shall not be treated as a material variance in the offer or acceptance of any state to participate in this compact.  An opt out pursuant to this section shall be effective at the time of enactment of this compact by the compacting state and shall apply to all existing uniform standards involving long-term care insurance products and those subsequently adopted.

     (e)  If a compacting state elects to opt out of a uniform standard, the uniform standard shall remain applicable in the compacting state electing to opt out until such time the opt out legislation is enacted into law or the opt out regulation becomes effective.

     Once the opt out of a uniform standard by a compacting state becomes effective as provided under the laws of that state, the uniform standard shall have no further force and effect in that state unless and until the legislation or regulation implementing the opt out is repealed or otherwise becomes ineffective under the laws of the state.  If a compacting state opts out of a uniform standard after the uniform standard has been made effective in that state, the opt out shall have the same prospective effect as provided under section 431:30-119 for withdrawals.

     (f)  If a compacting state has formally initiated the process of opting out of a uniform standard by regulation, and while the regulatory opt out is pending, the compacting state may petition the commission, at least fifteen days before the effective date of the uniform standard, to stay the effectiveness of the uniform standard in that state.  The commission may grant a stay if it determines the regulatory opt out is being pursued in a reasonable manner and there is a likelihood of success.  If a stay is granted or extended by the commission, the stay or extension thereof may postpone the effective date by up to ninety days, unless affirmatively extended by the commission; provided that a stay may not be permitted to remain in effect for more than one year unless the compacting state can show extraordinary circumstances that warrant a continuance of the stay, including but not limited to the existence of a legal challenge that prevents the compacting state from opting out.  A stay may be terminated by the commission upon notice that the rulemaking process has been terminated.

     (g)  Not later than thirty days after a rule or operating procedure is adopted, any person may file a petition for judicial review of the rule or operating procedure; provided that the filing of such petition shall not stay or otherwise prevent such rule or operating procedure from becoming effective unless there is a finding that there is a substantial likelihood of success on behalf of the party filing such petition.  The court shall give deference to the actions of the commission consistent with applicable law and shall not find the rule or operating procedure to be unlawful if such rule or operating procedure represents a reasonable exercise of the commission's authority. [L 2004, c 104, pt of §2; am L 2010, c 116, §1(27); am L 2019, c 70, §27]