Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Republicans On House Committee OK Bill Setting Up Office Of The Repealer To Recommend Repeal Of Existing Regulations

On April 20, the
House State Government Committee approved legislation by party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- to set up the Office of the Repealer to recommend repeal of regulations that defy a common sense approach to government and another bill to repeal existing regulations by resolution rather than law.

The bills include--

-- Office of the Repealer of Regulations: House Bill 939 (Klunk-R-York) creating a new bureaucracy-- the Independent Office of the Repealer-- to review existing regulations from all state agencies and make recommendations to the General Assembly and Governor for the repeal or revision.  The only criteria offered in the bill for this review are--

-- Unreasonable, unduly burdensome, detrimental to economic well-being, duplicative, onerous, defective or in conflict with another statute or regulation; and

--  “Defying a common sense approach to government.”

The evaluation is not required to calculate the economic, environmental or public health benefits derived from a regulation, whether the regulation is required by state or federal law or other criteria.

The bill creates a state “office” to give a venier of credibility to efforts to repeal environmental, public health and safety regulations affecting businesses, as in--  “The Office Of The Repealer recommended” this or that regulation should be repealed.

Sounds official, right?

-- Repeal Existing Regulations By Resolution Not Law: House Bill 950 (Metcalfe-R-Butler) would authorize the General Assembly to repeal any existing regulation using a concurrent resolution passed by both the Senate and House and presented to the Governor for his action.  If a regulation is repealed or disapproved, an agency may not propose a new or revised regulation unless specifically authorized by law.

This bill creates a shortcut in the legislative process never used before to repeal an existing requirement in the Pennsylvania Code that can protect public health and the environment (in the case of DEP) and have the force of law.

A resolution is passed by only one vote in each of the Senate and House.  A change in law-- requiring three votes in each chamber-- is now required to repeal or replace a regulation.

The bills now go to the full House for action.

Some Thoughts

These bills are now part of a Republican effort to promote “economic recovery” from the pandemic, but in reality these initiatives seeking to attack regulations and restrict environmental protection and safety efforts have been around for years from Republicans.

They just gave themselves a new reason to pass bad bills.

With respect to “recovery,” let’s not forget Pennsylvania’s businesses have so far received direct, taxpayer-funded payments of over $32 billion-- that’s BILLION dollars-- from the federal government through the Paycheck Protection Program to get them through the pandemic, according to the Independent Fiscal Office.

It was certainly needed in these unprecedented times, but just saying.

Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) serves as Majority Chair of the House State Government Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-783-2655 or sending email to: sgrove@pahousegop.com.   Rep. Margo Davidson (D-Delaware) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-783-4907 or sending email to: mdavidson@pahouse.net.  

Related Articles This Week:

-- Republicans On House Committee OK Bills Killing Regulations By Doing Nothing; Shielding Law Violators; Mandating Private Review Of DEP Permit Applications

-- House Committee Reports Out Bill Authorizing Local Solar Energy Subscriber Programs By Utilities 

House Republican 2021 Environmental & Energy Agenda

-- House Republicans Introduce Bills To Raid Dedicated Environmental Funds, Cripple Solar Energy, Shield Violators From Enforcement

-- Republican Bills Again Seek To Make Road Dumping Of Conventional Drilling Wastewater Legal

-- Republicans Introduce Bill Saying DEP Permit Applicants Are Always Right, Eliminates Public Comments; Add Other Bills To Their Environmental Agenda

-- House Republicans Reintroduce Bill To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing 

-- House Republicans Want To Mandate Private Contractor Permit Application Reviews, Eliminating DEP’s Review On Behalf Of The Public 

-- Republicans On House Committee OK Letter Urging IRRC To Disapprove Reg. Reducing Carbon Pollution From Power Plants                          

-- House Budget Hearing Fails To Address A Single Critical Budget Issue Faced By DEP Or DCNR

-- Republicans On House Committee OK Letter Disapproving Of Proposed EQB Changes To Chapter 105 Regulations     

[Posted: April 20, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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