Certified Final Objection No. 123 of the

Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules


At its meeting on March 24, 2003, the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (Committee) voted, pursuant to RSA 541-A:13, IV, to enter a preliminary objection to Final Proposal 2002-154 containing rules Asb 500 of the Assessing Standards Board (Board) relative to standards for certification. Based upon the annotation made by Committee staff to the Board’s Part 1, Article 28-a statement, and the public comment of the New Hampshire Municipal Association, the Committee objected that the rules violate Part 1, Article 28-a of the New Hampshire Constitution.

At its meeting on June 23, 2003 the Committee voted, pursuant to RSA 541-A:13, V(f), to enter a final objection to Final Proposal 2002-154. The final objection has been filed with the Director of the Office of Legislative Services for publication in the New Hampshire Rulemaking Register. The effect of a final objection is stated in RSA 541-A:13, VI:

After a final objection by the committee to a provision in the rule is filed with the director under subparagraph V(f), the burden of proof shall be on the agency in any action for judicial review or for enforcement of the provision to establish that the part objected to is within the authority delegated to the agency, is consistent with the intent of the legislature, is in the public interest, or does not have a substantial economic impact not recognized in the fiscal impact statement. 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 shall not be an implied legislative authorization of its substantive or procedural lawfulness.

The following summarizes the bases for the Committee’s final objection:

Part 1, Article 28-a

The Committee objected that Asb 500 violates Committee rules 401.04 and 402.04 by being beyond the authority of the Board and contrary to legislative intent to the extent that Asb 500 conflicts with Part 1, Article 28-a of the New Hampshire Constitution.

Pt. 1, Art. 28-a of the New Hampshire Constitution (28-a) provides that:

The state shall not mandate or assign any new, modified or expanded programs or responsibilities to any political subdivision in such a way as to necessitate additional local expenditures by the political subdivision unless such programs or responsibilities are fully funded by the state or unless such programs or responsibilities are approved for funding by a vote of the local legislative body of the political subdivision.


Certified Final Objection No.123 of the

Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules

Page 2


As noted previously, the Committee based its preliminary objection, in part, on testimony from the New Hampshire Municipal Association that indicated the rules would create costs for municipalities. Additionally, the Board indicated in its 28-a statement that the rules may result in costs to political subdivisions.

The Board, however, has indicated that all costs related to the rules are imposed by RSA 21-J:14-b. While that statute does require certification standards, the Committee noted that it is up to the Board to specify the content of such standards in its rules. As the Board has discretion over the content of the standards, the Committee determined that costs associated with compliance with the certification standards is a cost that has been imposed by these rules, and not RSA 21-J:14-b.

Based on the foregoing, the Committee determined that the proposed rules contain new, modified or expanded requirements that necessitate further expenditures by political subdivisions in violation of 28-a.