Senate committee approves legislation requiring General Assembly to approve regulations

© Shutterstock

The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee recently advanced legislation that requires the General Assembly to approve all major regulations.

Senate Bill 520 amends the Regulatory Review Act, stipulating definitions for proposed regulations and procedures and final-form regulations, final-omitted regulations, and procedures for review.

Specifically, the bill ensures no regulation or revision to general permits that have economic impacts or costs to government or the private sector more than $1 million could be imposed without legislative approval.

Under the existing regulatory review process, the General Assembly is only permitted to pass a concurrent resolution disapproving a regulation. The governor also must sign the disapproval resolution to bar an agency from enacting the regulation.

This change is intended to protect businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals from costly regulations.

“The people expect their elected representatives, not unaccountable government agencies, to make laws,” state Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin/Perry), who introduced the bill, said. “Lawmakers must ensure state regulators are adhering to legislative intent because overly restrictive rules have severe impacts on our residents—especially following the economic stress associated with COVID-19.”

The bill moves to the full Senate for consideration.

If the bill becomes law, it will take effect 60 days after passage.