Category Archives: Executive Oversight

Florida Supreme Court Holds Governor’s Suspension of Rulemaking Exceeds Authority

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2011/sc11-592.pdf

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Filed under Executive Oversight

Utah Governor Charges Cabinet to Review Regulations

On January 26, 2011, in his State of the State address, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert said that “most important ways government can nurture a business-friendly environment” is to  “make regulation fair”.  Then, taking a measured approach, Governor Herbert  said:

I understand that the purpose of government regulation is to maintain a level playing field. As a small business owner, I have also experienced the cost and frustration of over-reaching and irrational regulation. In order to separate regulations that serve an important purpose, from those regulations that serve no purpose at all, I have asked each member of my Cabinet to review existing business regulations and determine which could be kept, which should be modified, and which will be eliminated.

Governor Herbert’s state of the state address is available at http://www.utah.gov/governor/news_media/article.html?article=4169.  As more information becomes available about the implementation of this Cabinet-level review of regulation, it will be posted here.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, State Rulemaking

Ohio Governor Establishes the Common Sense Initiative

On January 10, 2011, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Executive Order 2011-01K, “Establishing the Common Sense Initiative.”  This order creates “a process for independently evaluating the economic impact of agency rules and regulations on small businesses in Ohio.”

It does not appear that the office of Governor Kasich issued a press release related to the order.  The full text of the executive order is available online at http://business.ohio.gov/docs/ExecutiveOrder2011-01K.pdf.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, State Rulemaking

Maine Governor Issues Order to Improve Review of Rulemaking

On January 10, 2011, Maine Governor Paul LePage issued Executive Order 09 FY 11/12, entitled “An Order to Improve Review of Rulemaking Process.”   The order establishes gubernatorial review of certain rules.  The full text of the executive order is available online at http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Gov_Executive_Orders&id=182022&v=article2011.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, State Rulemaking

Nevada Governor Establishes a Freeze on Proposed Regulations

On January 3, 2011, Governor Brian Sandoval signed Executive Order 2011-01, entitled “Establishing a Freeze on  Proposed Regulations.”  A press release related to the order clarified the governor’s position.

“I’ve been clear that my number one priority is economic development and freezing archaic and ineffective regulations until the end of this year will help promote business,” Governor Sandoval said. “As I said in my inaugural address today, our generation must commit to bringing Nevada’s economy, workforce and schools safely into this new reality in which we find ourselves.”

The press release further states:

The first executive order, focusing on economic development, establishes a freeze on all proposed administrative regulations until January 1, 2012, with certain exceptions for regulations that affect public health, public safety and security, and regulations that are necessary in the pursuit of federal funds and certifications. The freeze applies only to those agencies, boards and commissions which fall within the governor’s purview. Sandoval said the freeze will help stabilize Nevada’s business climate and make it easier for firms to expand and create jobs.

The full text of the executive order is available at http://ndep.nv.gov/docs_10/exec-order-2011-01.pdf.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, State Rulemaking

Kansas Governor Establishes Office of the Repealer

On January 21, 2011, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed Executive Order 11-01 to establish the Office of the Repealer in the Kansas Department of Administration.

In a press release related to the order, the Governor’s Office explains the order:

“My number one priority is to get our state’s economy growing again.  With the help of Kansans, the Office of the Repealer will work to identify laws and regulations that are out of date, unreasonable, and burdensome.  Laws and regulations shouldn’t hinder opportunities for Kansans and Kansas businesses,” Gov. Brownback said.

KDA Secretary Dennis Taylor will serve as the Repealer.  The executive order sets out the office’s duties:

–  Investigate the system of governance of the State of Kansas including its laws and regulations to determine instances in which those laws and regulations are unreasonable, unduly burdensome, duplicative, or contradictory.

–  Establish a system for receiving public recommendations suggesting various laws and regulations to be considered for possible repeal. This system will include an online portal for receipt of public comments.

–  Make recommendations for either outright repeal or for modification to be delivered to the originating body of such law or regulation. The recommendation will provide specific details with justification for the requested repeal or modification.

–  Implement a tracking system to follow the action taken by the originating body on any recommendation made by the Office of the Repealer in order to prepare regular reports to the Governor regarding the progress of repeal or modification.

Brownback said the Office of the Repealer will also have the authority to determine and implement such internal policies, standards, and procedures as may be necessary for the orderly and efficient carrying out of its mission.

The order becomes effective upon its filling with the Secretary of State’s office.

The full text of the executive order is available online at https://governor.ks.gov/frontpagenews/2011/01/21/1-21-11-executive-order-11-01.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, State Rulemaking

Florida Governor Suspends Rulemaking and Establishes Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform

On January 4, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order Number 11-01 “Suspending Rulemaking and Establishing the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform.”  According to a posting on the Governor’s web site, this action is intended to “freeze job-killing regulations”.  The posting further describes Executive Order Number 11-01 as follows:

Executive Order No. 11-01 freezes all new regulations and establishes the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform, which will review all rules prior to promulgation as well as agency practices and contracts.

  • Immediately suspends rulemaking for all agencies under the direction of the Governor.
  • Establishes the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform to review all rules (including those suspended by the Order) prior to promulgation and to review agency practices and contracts.
  • Imposes 90-day suspension on execution of any contracts with a value in excess of $1 million, without prior approval from the Office.
  • Prohibits agencies from promulgating rules unless they obtain prior approval from the Office.

The full text of the executive order is available at http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/scott.eo_.one_.pdf.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, State Rulemaking

New Mexico Governor Suspends Proposed and Pending Rules and Regulation

On January 1, 2011, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez issued
Executive Order 2011-001 entitled, “Formation of a Small Business-Friendly Task Force; Establishing a 90-Day Review Period for all Proposed and Pending Rules and Regulations.”

This order suspends proposed and pending rules and regulations for a period of 90 days with some rules excepted.  It also creates a task force comprised of cabinet secretaries from Taxation and Revenue, Workforce Solutions, and General Services.  The task force is to make specific legislative and regulatory recommendations to achieve economic growth and stability within 90 days from the effective date of the order.

The press release that accompanied the executive order describes the action as follows:

Today, Governor Susana Martinez signed her first executive order, which establishes a small business task force to identify red-tape regulations that are harmful to business growth and job creation in New Mexico and report its findings to the Governor. The task force, chaired by Secretary-designate of Economic Development, Jon Barela, will conduct its review over a 90-day period, during which all proposed and pending regulations will be frozen.

The full text of the Executive Order is available online at http://www.governor.state.nm.us/uploads/FileLinks/1e77a5621a1544e28318ba93fcd47d49/EO-2011-001.pdf.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, State Rulemaking

President’s Executive Order Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

NPR reported today that President Barack Obama has issued an executive order improving regulation and regulatory review.  In the “It’s All Politics” blog post entitled “Obama Orders Regulation Review to Boost Business, Economy“, NPR states:

The president outlined why he signed the executive order in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

This order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth. And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. It’s a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades.

In the second story, “Obama Reaches Out To Businesses With Rules Review“, Ari Shapiro provides more context and reaction.

The text of the executive order has not yet been published in the Federal Register.  The text is available in a press release on the White House web site.

The President’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal is available online.

UPDATE:  1/19/2011.  The Federal Register’s Facebook page has been updated with a post that points to gov20govfresh.com and provides the number for the President’s executive order:

This article [http://gov20.govfresh.com/white-house-regulations-shall-be-adopted-through-a-process-that-involves-public-participation/] lays out the goals of the President’s Executive Order on regulatory review (E.O. 13563) and relates it to his op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on building a 21st century regulatory system. The article stresses that enhanced public participation is one of the key deliverables of the reg review process.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, Federal Rulemaking

Regulatory Review Report Card and Recommendations

The Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law has released a 459-page report entitled 52 Experiments with Regulatory Review:  The Political and Economic Inputs into State Rulemakings.  The report, authored by Jason A Schwartz, recognizes the impact of government regulation on the economy and argues that “systems of economic analysis and regulatory review are needed so that the costs and benefits of action are properly weighted.”

In describing the report, the web site at the Institute for Policy Integrity says,

Nearly twenty percent of the American economy is regulated by state governments.  But there are major concerns about how regulatory decisions are made.  Although states routinely regulate industries whose economic footprints climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars, these rules are often made ad hoc, risking inefficient results that limit public benefit.

After more than a year of research, surveys, and analysis, Policy Integrity is the first to compile the regulatory practices of all fifty states (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico) in one document.  Comparing each set of laws and guidelines on paper to direct feedback from leaders on the ground, the report assigns states a grade based on an evaluation of the quality of their review process.   The results of “52 Experiments with Regulatory Review,” which finds significant flaws with state level regulatory review, indicate that billions of dollars and important environmental and public health protections are at risk.  States earned an average grade of “D+” with the lowest possible grade being a “D-.”

The full report is available from the Institute for Policy Integrity at http://policyintegrity.org/publications/detail/52-experiments-with-regulatory-review/.

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Filed under Administrative Law, Executive Oversight, Fiscal Impact, Legislative Oversight, Rules Review, State Rulemaking

Changes to Virginia Regulatory Town Hall Home Page

Some changes have recently been made to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall home page (townhall.virginia.gov) aimed to make the site easier to navigate.

Here are the main changes:

 * The Menu bar on the left has been shortened to focus on major categories of information.

 * The Search Tool is more prominently displayed. This feature allows you to search titles of regulations, regulatory actions,meetings, guidance documents, mandates, petitions for rulemaking, and general notices.

 * Under Browse Regulations on the menu bar, you will see a list of all regulations broken down by board. Using the tabs near the top of the page, you can also search regulations by agency, secretary, and VAC citation.

 * Under Regulatory Activity on the menu bar, you will see all regulatory actions underway. Using the tabs near the top of the page, you can also view regulatory actions based on a periodic review of the regulation, a petition for rulemaking, or a legislative mandate (where the legislature has required a regulation to be changed).

 * On the page for viewing and entering public comments, you can now view regulatory documents, e.g., the agency background statement explaining what is changing and why, as well as the text of a proposed regulation, and we encourage you to view these before you enter a public comment.

 We’re always trying to make the Town Hall more user friendly so if you have any suggestions or comments, we would love to hear from you. Just email melanie.west@dpb.virginia.gov.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, State Rulemaking

President Bush Amends Executive Order 12866 Affecting Federal Rulemaking Process

[NOTE: This is a repost, with updates, from the old Rulemaking blog which has been discontinued.]

In 1993, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). That order, according to OMB Watch:

. . . establishes the guiding principles agencies must follow when developing regulations, including encouraging the use of cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment, and performance-based regulatory standards. The executive order also establishes the regulatory planning process for each agency, delegating authority to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to coordinate agency rulemaking efforts with the regulatory priorities of the President. E.O. 12,866 also expands the roles of OIRA in rulemaking through a centralized review of regulations, whereby OIRA acts as gatekeeper for the promulgation of all significant rulemakings. (Source: http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/180/1/67, accessed 1/27/2007)

On January 18, 2007, President Bush issued Executive Order 13422 (72 FR 2763, January 23, 2007), and OMB Watch sounded an alarm. Analyzing the new order in an article entitled, “Undermining Public Protections”, OMB watch warns:

The revised Executive Order . . . is a further threat to public protections from an administration committed to elevating special interests over public interests. It codifies regulatory delay, further removes agency discretion over legislative implementation, and centralizes control over the regulatory process into a small executive office. It substitutes free market criteria for the public values of health, safety, and environmental protections, and substitutes executive authority for legislative authority. (Source: http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/3685/1/{category_id}, accessed 1/27/2007)

Public Citizen is also critical of the executive order, characterizing it as a move that “will threaten the ability of the federal government to protect and inform the public.” Public Citizen itemized it concerns, saying:

First, it requires agencies to get White House approval of many important kinds of guidance for the public, which would allow the White House to create a bureaucratic bottleneck that would slow down agencies’ ability to give the public information it needs. Agencies use guidance to let the public know how they intend to enforce the laws and regulations on the books.

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Second, the new order stresses the concept of “market failure” in its revised command for agencies to state justifications for new regulations for public health, privacy, safety, civil rights and the environment. Market failure is an economics term describing situations in which private markets, left to themselves, fail to bring about results that the public needs. This order, however, will be enforced by Susan Dudley, the radical extremist that the White House is setting up for a recess appointment to become the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Based on an evaluation of Dudley’s record in a report released last year, Public Citizen has concluded that in her hands, the market failure provision will become a barrier to the protections that the public needs.

Third, the order requires agencies to develop annual plans for upcoming rulemakings that identify “the combined aggregate costs and benefits of all … regulations planned for that calendar year to assist with the identification of priorities.” This new requirement will make cost/benefit analysis the central factor in setting priorities for needed protections of the public interest. (Source: http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2361, accessed 1/27/2007)

Other news about the order seems scarce. Searches on major eastern newspaper websites, and the news services on Google and Yahoo yielded only one other article. In that article, NewsInferno.com (http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/1402#more-1402) relied upon information from Public Citizen. Even the Wall Street Journal appeared to be silent about the order.

Part of the problem might be accessibility and the method used to amend the order. Executive Order 13422 directs changes at specific paragraphs in the old, previously amended order. After spending a significant amount of time searching online, it became clear that a complete version that integrates the changes is not available–at least not yet.

It will be interesting to watch the federal regulatory process and see if the fears expressed actually materialize.

NOTE: Executive Order 12866 was also amended by Executive Order 13258, issued February 26, 2002, by President Bush (67 FR 9385, February 28, 2002).

UPDATE: On January 30, 2007, twelve days after President Bush signed the order, the New York Times ran an article entitled “Bush Directive Increases Sway on Regulation.” The same day, the Washington Post considered the Executive Order in an article “Bush Order Limits Agencies’ ‘Guidance’.”

On February 13, 2007, the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, held an oversight hearing — “Amending Executive Order 12866: Good Governance or Regulatory Usurpation?Also on February 13, 2007, and April 26, 2007, the House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held similar hearings.

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Filed under Administrative Law, Executive Oversight, Federal Rulemaking