FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rep. Jim Steineke
Wisconsin Assembly Passes Good-Government Red Tape Reform
MADISON – The Wisconsin Assembly today voted to pass Assembly Bill (AB) 384, a good-governance reform that institutionalizes a regular review of administrative code. Wisconsin has volumes upon volumes of rules, written by unelected bureaucrats, that carry the force of law. These rules can stay on the books for decades – far outliving their usefulness but still adding to the burden of red tape on small businesses, sportsmen and women, industry professionals, and taxpayers. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), the lead author of the legislation, released this statement following the vote:
“It has been said that ‘a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life,’ and I believe, unfortunately, that can be true for government regulation as well. I commend leaders in the Assembly who have made it a priority to get outdated and harmful red tape off the books. This ‘Red Tape Review’ has been a herculean effort and it is time to write that process into our statutes so it becomes mandatory, standardized, and regularly occurring.
“Assembly Bill 384 opens administrative rules back up to the public and their elected representatives. This gives people who are most affected by the rules the ability to get the rulemaking process out in the open again. Our regulations, and our regulators, need to be accountable to the public. Our vote today is one more step towards ensuring that the rules we expect Wisconsinites to live by achieve the goals Wisconsinites expect of them.”
Similar legislation exists in fourteen states. Multiple industry representatives and affected individuals have voiced support for the proposal, and companion legislation has received a public hearing in a Senate committee. Governor Walker had previously expressed support for this concept.
The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration before going to Governor Walker.
Under Assembly Bill 384, all chapters of administrative code expire nine years after the date of their adoption or re-adoption. Two years before their expiration, the applicable state agency would petition for the rules to be readopted for an additional nine years. If any member of the relevant standing committee or the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) object to that re-adoption, JCRAR must hold a hearing on the code chapter. If a majority of JCRAR votes in agreement with the objection, the code chapter must go through the full rulemaking process, allowing for a new period of public input and analysis. If there is not a majority vote for the objection, the code chapter is considered readopted in its entirety.