Thursday, April 26, 2018

House Will Again Try To Move 5 Bills Creating New Bureaucracies To Take Permit Reviews Away From DEP, Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing

Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery), Republican Caucus Chair, alerted members of her Caucus Thursday the House will again try to move a package of five Republican bills giving the General Assembly authority to kill regulations by doing nothing and creating new bureaucracies taking permit reviews away from DEP, putting a cap on the number of regulations, requiring the elimination of two regulations for every new one adopted and setting up a procedure to waive penalties for violations.
These bills were supposed to move the week of April 16, but were delayed.
The bills include--
-- Killing A Regulation By Doing Nothing: House Bill 1237 (Keefer-R-York) authorizes the General Assembly to kill an economically significant final regulation from any agency by doing nothing.
-- Taking Permit Reviews Away From DEP, State Agencies Giving It To Third Parties: House Bill 1959 (Rothman-R-Cumberland) Establishes the Pennsylvania Permit Act which requires agencies to create and develop a navigable online permit tracking system and takes authority to issue certain permits away from state agencies like DEP and creates a new bureaucracy of third-party reviewers. Click Here for more.
-- Cap On Number Of Regulations: House Bill 209 (Phillips-Hill-R-York): Establishes the Independent Office of the Repealer, a new bureaucracy to undertake an ongoing review of existing regulations; receive and process recommendations; and make recommendations to the General Assembly, the governor, and executive agencies for repeal.  It also places a cap on all regulations and requires agencies to delete two regulations for every new regulations agencies seek to adopt. It is modeled after policies adopted by the Trump Administration.
--Waiving Penalties: House Bill 1960 (Ellis-R-Butler) which requires each agency to appoint a Regulatory Compliance Officer with the authority to waive fines and penalties if a permit holder “attempts” to comply.
-- Repeal Any Regulation By Resolution: House Bill 1792 (Benninghoff-R-Mifflin) Gives the General Assembly the ability to repeal any state regulation in effect by a concurrent resolution by requiring a single vote in the Senate and House.  The process is modeled after a federal procedure used by the Trump Administration to repeal regulations (sponsor summary). Currently, the General Assembly can repeal any regulation by passing a new law which involves a more extensive committee review and several votes each by the Senate and House.
The five bills were reported out of the House State Government Committee in March with only Republican votes.
Click Here for a copy of the memo.
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