Timely adoption of agency regulations discussed

Senators gave first-round approval April 10 to a bill that would ensure that state agencies adopt new rules and regulations in a timely manner.

Currently, 12 months after a new rule or regulation is passed by the Legislature, the relevant state agency must hold a public hearing. The agency then must adopt and promulgate the rule or regulation within one year of the public hearing date.

A 2011 law requires agencies that do not meet the one-year implementation deadline to electronically submit an explanation to the Executive Board and relevant legislative standing committee with subject matter jurisdiction.

Each agency also must provide a report to the Legislative Performance Audit Committee each July 1 outlining any pending rules and regulations that have not been adopted and promulgated.

Under LB242, introduced by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, the legislative standing committee with subject matter jurisdiction would hold a public hearing regarding any agency that has not adopted and promulgated a rule or regulation within three years of the operative date.

Howard said the bill provides a common sense solution to a regulatory backlog.

“There is nothing in law that requires reporting or timely promulgation on legislation that has been passed previously,” she said. “If we’re to do the work we were sent here to do, we must make sure the agencies entrusted to carry out legislation also do their job.”

The requirements in LB242 would apply to legislation enacted before, on or after the effective date of the bill.

Senators advanced the bill on a 26-0 vote.

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