How One Democratic Governor Responded to the Recession
Gov. Gregoire Suspends State Rule-Making Process
For Immediate Release: November 17, 2010
OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today signed an executive order suspending and limiting the state rule making process to help small businesses and local governments as the state continues its economic recovery.
“State rules are essential to protecting the health, safety, welfare and quality of life for Washingtonians. However, in these unprecedented economic times, this action will provide businesses with stability and predictability they need to help with our state’s recovery,” Gregoire said.
On Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, Gov. Chris Gregoire directed state agencies under her jurisdiction to suspend non-critical rule development and adoption activities until the end of 2011. (Executive Order 10-06. More information is available at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/ECYrulemoratoriumupdate.html).
Her decision to do this is responsive to what she is hearing from the broader regulated community. They are telling her they are struggling in this difficult economic climate to meet current regulations – not only environmental regulations, but others as well – and that a time-out on new rules is something government can do to help.
As one of Ecology’s valued stakeholders, you may be wondering what this means for the draft rules that are in process now. If Ecology is currently accepting comments on a rule proposal we will continue to do so until the end of the comment period previously announced. We are reviewing the Governor’s exemption criteria to evaluate which rule-making, if any, will be exempt from her order. We expect the range of circumstances that might be considered for exemption to be narrow.
Much of Ecology’s rule-making work is required by the state Legislature or is in response to changes in federal rules or legislation. Some of our draft rules under way simplify reporting requirements for businesses, synchronize state and federal rules, modernize cleanup standards, and ensure local government eligibility for federal construction dollars.
The moratorium doesn’t extend to other regulatory work we do, such as permitting and policy guidance.
NOTE: Here is a direct link to rules that Ecology has identified so far as being critical under the governor’s criteria.
(Editor’s Note: Might be more interesting to see what the “non-critical” rules are. The “critical” ones seem fairly expansive. Nonetheless, something for Governor-elect Brown to consider.)
Filed under: Budget and Economy
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