Legislators want more power when reviewing agency’s rulesPIERRE — The Legislature’s rules review committee decided Thursday to seek broader oversight of the regulations written by state government agencies.
PIERRE — The Legislature’s rules review committee decided Thursday to seek broader oversight of the regulations written by state government agencies.
Committee members voted 5-0 in favor of a draft that will be circulated to legislative leaders from both political parties for their advice.
If there is agreement, the proposed changes would be submitted for consideration in the 2013 legislative session that opens Jan. 8.
“This has been very educational,” said Sen. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton. She is the committee’s chairwoman.
The approved draft calls for clarifying the rules review committee’s existing authority to allow an agency’s rules to take effect or be sent back to an earlier step in the rule-making process.
Technically, the committee doesn’t have the legal authority to approve or amend rules submitted by agencies. The proposed change calls for declaring the rule-making process is complete to the committee’s satisfaction.
There also would be an expansion of the committee’s authority. The members want to be able to suggest amendments to an agency’s proposed rules when those rules come before the committee for review, rather than telling the agency to go back and work on changes.
The amendments would need to be within the scope of what was previously covered in the agency’s public hearing.
“That would be hard,” said Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell.
Agency officials could accept the amendments on the spot or hold another hearing if they chose.
The committee at its meeting last week told several agencies to step back on parts of their rules.
Earlier this year, the committee directed the state Transportation Commission and the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission to revert to earlier steps, respectively, on tourist-oriented directional signs and bighorn sheep license auction.
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