Senate GOP takes on agency rules

State Senate leaders are focusing this week on regulatory reform, including a moratorium on rule-making by state agencies.

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Sen. David Rouzer
Laura Leslie

At 11 a.m., the Senate Agriculture Committee will take up S22, the measure I wrote about last night. At this morning’s Senate GOP press conference, the bill's co-sponsor, David Rouzer, R-Johnston, said it's intended to "halt any new regulation that may be coming forward.”

“It might be interesting to note that, over the past 10 years, there’s been 15,111 new regulations that have been promulgated,” Rouzer said. While conceding that some of those rules probably rescinded or rewrote other rules, he said, “That gives you a sense of the volume of activity that’s taken place in this realm.”

Rouzer says DENR and other agencies have moved on their own to make rules state lawmakers never intended. “What we’re saying is. 'Hey, let’s take a breather here and study this issue.'”

“This is the No. 1 thing that business talks to me about and all of our colleagues about,” Rouzer continued. “It’s not necessarily tax reform, it’s not necessarily the deficit. But in terms of moving this economy forward, the No. 1 item on the list that always comes up first are the number of regulations that they have to deal with.”

Under the terms of the bill, the legislature would have to approve any new rule that imposed any new cost. When asked whether lawmakers have the time and expertise needed to evaluate rules, Senate Leader Phil Berger said they would. “If it’s important enough, if it really does meet a cost-benefit analysis, then yeah. We’ve got time to do those things.”

Berger said lawmakers aren't repealing anything. “We’re just saying ‘No new ones.’ If it’s something that is that important, they can bring it to us.”

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