Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill into law that gives his office more control over the rules state agencies write. The measure grants the Governor veto power over agency rules, which currently only need to be approved the Legislature.
The Governor says those administrative rules are some of the strongest in the nation and essentially have the force of law behind them, but are often written and approved by unelected bureaucrats. He says that the change makes those agencies more accountable to the people.
Critics argue the bill is nothing more than a power grab by the Governor, and it could allow him to interfere in agencies headed by other elected officials such as the Attorney General and Department of Public Instruction. Walker says the Legislature still have a say in the system, and those officials already cannot act arbitrarily.
Walker says the measure will help cut through the red tape and create an incentive for businesses to expand in Wisconsin. He says it’s one part of his plan to ease the regulatory and tax climate that discourages many companies from operating here.
The Governor on Monday also signed a bill that repeals a Department of Natural Resources rule requiring municipalities to install new equipment to disinfect water supplies, along with legislation that allows Milwaukee to sell city-owned property that’s no longer being used for school purposes.