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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 19, 2016 11:09 AM
From: Representative Kristin Hill
To: All House members
Subject: Independent Office of the Repealer
Our Commonwealth has thousands of regulations on the books. Many of these acts and regulations were enacted several decades ago, and have yet to be re-examined and evaluated in the intervening years as to their relevance, appropriateness and cost. It’s not only taxes that place a burden on the Commonwealth, its businesses and its citizens, it’s also excessive regulation. Last year, Pennsylvania’s Gross Domestic Product grew an anemic 1.8%. The distortions caused by regulations impacted the state’s economy by slowing growth by .8%. While regulations are in part a problem enhanced by the Federal government, the growth in state sponsored regulations has impacted a myriad of state industries from agriculture, to natural gas, to manufacturing.

Regulations are a self-made problem that are in part the result of choices made by the legislative branch of government. Legislation that is passed often states that “The Department will promulgate regulations” which allows state agencies to develop new rules and regulations to implement the laws passed by the General Assembly. The regulations formed by these laws and their economic impact are too often ignored by the General Assembly as the legislative branch moves on to the next topic.

We must reverse this trend of growing regulations and the negative impact that it has on our economy. As an aside, the recent stock rally increase of 3.5% is due largely to just the perception that the new administration in Washington DC will repeal onerous Federal regulation including such laws as Dodd Frank and the Affordable Care Act. The General Assembly must adopt reforms to reintroduce the legislative branch into the regulatory process. One way to accomplish this is to establish an Independent Office of the Repealer.

The Commonwealth does not undertake a regular and systematic independent review of existing regulations, nor possess an organized system to receive recommendations from the public, educators, business, government entities and others on recommendations for repeal, modification or revision of existing statutes and regulations.

This bill will establish the Independent Office of the Repealer to undertake such an ongoing review, receive and process recommendations, evaluate the merits of recommendations in accordance with decision rules and quantitative and qualitative criteria, and make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor and Executive agencies for repeal, modification or revision.

Presently there is no legislative authority providing for an independent, regular and systematic review of existing statutes and regulations to a) reduce or eliminate unreasonable, unduly burdensome, duplicative, onerous, outdated or conflicting statutes that hinder efficiency, understanding, liberty or are detrimental to economic well-being; b) bring statutes up to date to be in harmony with modern conditions; c) foster a more business friendly climate; d) make laws easier to read and understand by a layman

Whereas proposed new regulations are already addressed by legislation and an executive order [Act of June 25, 1982 (P.L. 633, No.181) providing for oversight and review of proposed/new regulations by the IRRC; Executive Order 1996-1 on review and issuance of regulations in PA signed by Gov. Ridge; and the Regulatory Review Act of June 29, 2012, P.L. 657, No. 76 from HB 1349], this bill will begin to address the tremendous body of existing acts and regulations which have accumulated since the founding of our Commonwealth.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation to help foster effective, efficient and responsive government.

If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Evans by phone at (717) 783-8389 or by email at lmevans@pahousegop.com.


Introduced as HB209