|Over the past several months, growing attention has been focused on regulatory burdens and abuses of the regulatory process, both at the federal and state levels. At the federal level, for example, action has been taken to rescind certain rules and regulations through the use of the Congressional Review Act. In Pennsylvania, legislators are exploring legislative and other remedies for regulatory overreach.
In the near future, I plan to introduce a multifaceted regulatory reform initiative, which will enhance oversight at the beginning of the regulatory review process and improve examination and reduction of existing regulations. The bill will:
- Establish a program similar to Kentucky’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative, which will give the public greater access to information regarding existing regulations and will allow the public to recommend existing regulations for IRRC and legislative review;
- Give statutory permanence to provisions of Executive Order 1996-1, relating to the evaluation of existing regulations.Of particular interest are provisions of the EO that currently require agencies to develop a regular, continual schedule for such review;
- Require each agency’s regulatory review program to include a goal for the reduction of either the number of regulations under the committee’s jurisdiction or the number of pages of regulations under the committee’s jurisdiction;
- Prohibit an agency from promulgating any new regulations in the future, unless the General Assembly has granted the agency specific statutory authority to promulgate regulations relating to the subject matter of the regulation.Any regulation submitted without such authority will be deemed withdrawn;
- Ensure that standing committees have sufficient time to review a regulation that has been approved by IRRC and consider whether a concurrent resolution should be adopted, by making sure that the review period includes legislative session days;and
- Require standing committees to hold a hearing on a proposed regulations that will have a substantial financial impact on Pennsylvanians (an impact of $1 million or more).By adding this requirement to the proposed phase of the regulatory process, my legislation will help to ensure that concerns and questions are raised prior to issuance of these major regulations in final form.
I believe that this legislation will build upon aspects of the regulatory review process that are working, will encourage greater public and legislative oversight of state regulations and will ultimately reduce regulatory burdens on the people of Pennsylvania. I encourage you to cosponsor this important proposal.