Pennsylvania Senate passes regulatory review bill

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On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Senate passed legislation that would require agencies to review regulations and report their findings to an independent commission.

Senate Bill 190, sponsored by state Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50), would require any regulations that cost the state or the private sector more than $1 million a year to be reviewed three years after they go into effect.

“My bill cuts government red tape that hurts Pennsylvania’s employers, farmers and local governments. With this change, we could see a statewide benefit from job growth and a boost to our economy,” Brooks said. “We need to get government out of the way so people and our state as a whole can succeed.”

Once reviewed for the regulation’s need, effectiveness and efficiency, the regulated agency must report their findings to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). That report would outline the status of implementation, as well as its fiscal impact and any steps that could be taken to increase its efficiency, and whether or not the agency is considering changing the regulation or if it is still needed.

Once the report is presented to the IRRC, the report would be subject to public comments for 30 days. At the end of the public comment period, IRRC would determine whether the regulation is still in the public interest and what changes to the statute are necessary, if any.

Legislators said the review would help protect businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions and individuals from costly and sometimes burdensome regulations as well as hold state regulators accountable.

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration, Brooks’ office said.