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House Committee Chair Releases Regulatory Overreach Report, Endorses Bill Authorizing Repeal Of Regulations By Doing Nothing

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair of the House State Government Committee, and other members of the House “Common Sense Caucus” Tuesday released a report on Regulatory Overreach that recommends supporting five pieces of legislation to reduce the regulatory burden from the state.

The recommended legislation includes a bill giving the General Assembly authority to repeal significant environmental and other regulations by doing nothing (House Bill 1237), taking the authority to issue delayed permits away from state agencies and giving it to third parties (House Bill 1959) and creating a new Regulatory Compliance Officers in each agency with the ability to waiver fines and penalties for any violations (House Bill 1960).

''The Regulatory Overreach Report is a compilation of the findings from a series of public hearings that I convened to gather testimony from various employers, organizations and experts on state regulatory policy,'' said Rep. Metcalfe. ''Without question, this report clearly demonstrates that it's long-past time for the Legislature to avenge the ever-increasing injustices of Pennsylvania' s restrictive regulatory environment. Overregulation caused by unelected government bureaucrats is killing family-sustaining jobs, strangling opportunity and crippling economic growth.''


The report recommends enactment of five pieces of legislation--

-- Kill A Regulation By Doing Nothing: House Bill 1237 (Keefer-R-York) The General Assembly would be required to vote on a concurrent resolution to approve an economically significant regulation (which has an annual fiscal impact totaling $1 million or more on the government or private sector), in order for that regulation to go into effect.  If the General Assembly does nothing, the regulation cannot go into effect.  Click Here for more.

A similar bill was already passed by the Senate-- Senate Bill 561-- and is in the House State Government Committee. 

-- Taking Permit Reviews Away From 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 and gives it to third-party reviewers.  Click Here for more.

-- New Regulatory Compliance Officers With Authority To Waive Fines: House Bill 1960 (Ellis-R-Butler) Requires each agency to appoint a Regulatory Compliance Officer with the authority to waive fines and penalties if a permit holder attempts to comply.  Click Here for more.

-- New Office of The Repealer/Moratorium On New Regulations: House Bill 209 (Phillips-Hill-R-York): Establishes the Independent Office of the Repealer 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. 

Additional provisions of this legislation would both establish a moratorium on new regulatory burdens and create a process for “sunsetting” existing regulations by placing a cap on the number of regulations and requiring the repeal of two existing regulations for every  new regulation promulgated.

Click Here for more from an identical bill introduced last session-- House Bill 2408.

-- Repeal Any Regulation By Resolution: House Bill 1792 (Benninghoff-R-Mifflin) Gives the General Assembly the ability to initiate the repeal of any state regulation in effect by a concurrent resolution modeled after a federal procedure used successfully by the Trump Administration to repeal regulations (sponsor summary).


The report also makes a series of recommendations to create what the report calls a “successful regulatory reform program,” including--

-- Committee Chairmen should collaborate to establish best practices for review of regulations through current mechanisms available under the law.

-- Agencies should be surveyed to determine if they are in compliance with the Regulatory Review Act and Executive Order 1996-1.

-- The General Assembly should also advance legislation that improves the regulation-making process and reduces the regulatory burden in Pennsylvania.

1. Improving the regulatory culture so the application of existing laws is collaborative and not punitive.

   -- Establish self-audit system that waives penalties if violations are discovered by the business and self-reported.

   -- Require agencies to educate the regulated community regarding implementation of a new regulation and the requirements prior to the e ective date.

   -- Require agencies to work with businesses to resolve non-compliance issues before imposing penalties.

   -- Hold regulators accountable to timelines for processing permits.

2. Improving the regulatory culture by systematically reviewing existing regulations.

   -- Implement an ongoing automatic regulatory review process.

   -- Establish a cap on the number of regulations in conjunction with the automatic review process.

3. Improving the regulatory culture by stopping bad regulations before implementation.

   -- Economically significant regulations should be subject to approval by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

   -- Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) must prepare a fiscal analysis for economically significant regulations.

   -- Consider a moratorium on new regulations.

   -- Consider sunset date for newly promulgated regulations as part of an ongoing process for reviewing existing regulations.

Click Here for a copy of the 10-page report.  Click Here for a video of the press conference (when posted).

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) serves as Majority Chair of the Committee and can be contacted by sending email to:   Rep. Matthew Bradford (D-Montgomery) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to:


Gottesman: House Republicans Introduce Regulatory Reform Report, Bill Package

House Republicans Proposed Plan To Begin Re-Examining State Regulations

PA House Committee Targeting Government Regulation

Related Stories:

Rep. Metcalfe: PA Leaders That Adopted Susquehanna River Basin Compact Were Incompetent, Negligent Or Corrupt

Shale Gas Industry Tells House Committee We Don’t Want Regulatory Relief, We Want Permits On Time

House Committee Seeks Ways The General Assembly Can Get More Involved In The Regulatory Process

House Bill 1960 Short Circuits Imposition Of Fines, Penalties For Environmental Violations

House Bill 1959 Creates New 3rd Party Permit Review Bureaucracy At DEP, State Agencies

REAP Farm Conservation Program Caught Up In Bill To Limit All State Tax Credit Programs

Senate OKs Bill To Allow General Assembly To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing

Analysis: House/Senate Republicans Introduce DEP Permit/Reg Reform Bills

[Posted: Jan. 16, 2018]


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