Senator Howard Stephenson, co-chair of Utah’s legislative Administrative Rules Review Committee, is sponsoring a bill to enlarge the role of the committee in new ways. S.B. 64, entitled “Administrative Rules Review Committee,” expands the authority of the committee to include the review of “any appropriation made by the Legislature … to ensure that the entity to which the funds were appropriated complies with any expressed legislative intent concerning the appropriation.” Under the provisions of the bill, the Committee reports its findings of noncompliance to the Legislature’s Executive Appropriations Committee. The bill does not authorize any other direct action by the Administrative Rules Review Committee.
Utah created its Administrative Rules Review Committee in 1983. The ten-member legislative committee currently has authority to review proposed and effective administrative rules and to prepare omnibus legislation to reauthorize administrative rules every year (see H.B. 197 for this year’s reauthorization bill). More information about Utah’s Administrative Rules Review Committee is available at http://www.rules.utah.gov/arrc.htm.
UPDATE — 3/12/2009 — S.B. 64 encountered opposition in the House due to concerns that the additional authority to review appropriations (expenditures) would diminish the Administrative Rules Review Committee’s focus on administrative rules. Rep. Ben Ferry, House Chair of the Administrative Rules Review Committee, sponsored H.J.R. 23, amending joint legislative rules, giving the authority to review appropriations directly to the Legislature’s Executive Appropriations Committee.