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.
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.
This past spring, the American Association of Law Librarians issued its report on “State-by-State Report on Authentication of Online Legal Resources.” For more information, see the April 5, 2007, post entitled “AALL Report on the Authentication of State Primary Legal Resources.”
As a step toward addressing the issue of authentication raised by the AALL report, Utah’s Division of Administrative Rules has added Message-Digest algorithm 5 (MD5) authentication to publication files. An MD5 hash is, in essence, a signature for a file. A user can confirm the integrity of a specific file the user downloads by comparing the MD5 hash provided by the Division with one that the user generates. More information about Utah’s response is posted at http://rulesnews.utah.gov/archives/000667.html.