Two Republican state lawmakers want greater legislative oversight of rule-making by state agencies. Agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection, and Workforce Development routinely establish rules to implement state and federal law.
Representative Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) is co-author of the “REINS Act” (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny). “We just want to bring a little more oversight into the process, and to provide additional tools to protect taxpayers and small business owners,” Neylon said.
According to a press release from Neylon and Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg):
The Wisconsin REINS Act gives the Legislature the oversight it needs by changing the rule-making process in 3 fundamental ways:
• Institutes a $10 million dollar cap on new rules and regulations passed by an agency. Any agency wishing to pass a rule that will cause an industry or business to incur more than $10 million in costs and/or compliance must get approval of the legislature before the rule moves forward.
• Creates the option for legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) to request a public hearing early on in the rule-making process to give citizens and industry representatives a chance to voice their opinions.
• Gives the JCRAR the ability to request an independent economic analysis for a second opinion on what the cost of compliance will be for Wisconsin’s business community.
“If there is going to be a rule that’s going to have such a huge, $10 million impact over either business or the taxpayers, I think that should be subject to legislative oversight,” LeMahieu said.
The bill is similar to one considered by lawmakers in the last session. “I think that there is recognition out there that the slow creep of big government is strangling innovation and limiting prosperity, so we’re doing what we can to cut the red tape before it strangles us,” said Neylon.