Government Administration and Elections Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5049

Title:

AN ACT ELIMINATING UNNECESSARY GOVERNMENT REGULATION.

Vote Date:

3/24/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/3/2014

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Governor Dannel P. Malloy

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill implements the Governor's recommendations to eliminate outdated or unnecessary regulations and devises a new process by which “noncontroversial” regulations may be adopted without approval from the Regulations Review Committee.

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE:

The substitute language makes several changes. The new language requires the Attorney General to review all “noncontroversial” regulations for legal adequacy before they are noticed. The substitute language also changes the notification requirements for “noncontroversial” regulations, stipulating that such notices must also be sent to the Regulation Review Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly. The new language also eliminates the proposed change of review time for emergency regulations, and keeps the Regulation Review Committee's capability to approve or reject emergency regulations in part. Furthermore, the substitute language removed a provision from the raised bill that required the Regulation Review Committee to share the Legislative Commissioners Office (LCO) memo with Executive Branch agencies. The substitute language also requires that the Secretary of the State develop and implement a plan to retain paper copies. Finally, the substitute language repeals additional regulations and makes technical changes to the bill.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Christopher R. Drake, Deputy General Counsel, Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy testified in favor of the bill as it originated from the Governor's office. Mr. Drake defined three major reasons why he believes that the Committee should support the bill. First, Mr. Drake outlined the responses to Executive Order 37, which “required each agency that directly reports to him to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of its regulations to identify those that were outdated, unnecessarily burdensome, inefficient, or ineffective.” Mr. Drake argued that the results of the Governor's Executive Order 37 resulted in the proposal of a new process to “help facilitate more frequent updating of regulations”. He described the proposed “streamlined regulation-making” process as is contained in the bill.

Second, Mr. Drake stated that the proposal compiles all of the regulations identified by Executive Branch agencies under Executive Order 37 and repeals them. Section 33 of the bill contains all of the identified regulations and proposes an outright repeal of them.

Lastly Mr. Drake argued that the Governor's office “is currently leading an information technology project…to modernize the process for creating and publishing our state regulations”, an effort that is facilitated in Sections 1-10 of the bill.

Terrence W. Macy, Ph.D., Commissioner, Department of Developmental Services (DDS) testified in favor of the bill, calling it a “major step towards eliminating unnecessary…and obsolete regulations.” Dr. Macy argued that if DDS “were to go through the normal repeal process for these two sets of regulations, it would take a commitment of DDS staff time that could be better used in drafting and amending other regulations to reflect the department's current best practices.” Dr. Macy cited specific DDS regulations which are, under the proposal, slated for repeal.

Department of Administrative Services (DAS) testified in favor of the bill, applauding the Governor's initiative to review unnecessary, overly burdensome, outdated, or ineffective regulations. DAS stated that the bill repeals regulations that have been recommended by the agency for elimination.

Department of Children and Families (DCF) testified in support of the bill, stating that the legislation repeals regulations as identified and recommended by DCF.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Elizabeth Gara, Executive Director, Connecticut Water Works Association (CWWA) testified in favor of the intent of the legislation, arguing that it eliminates outdated regulations.

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) testified in favor of the legislation with the recommendation that section 33, 22a-69-1 to 69-7-4 and section 34, 22a-69-75 be removed from the bill to ensure that noise issues continue to be regulated by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, avoiding an unintended impact on municipalities.

Tracy Wodatch, R.N., V.P. Clinical and Regulatory Services, The Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home testified in support of the bill, offering specific recommendations to eliminate unnecessary regulations for home health and hospice providers.

Eric Brown, Associate Council, Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) testified in support of the legislation, stating that the bill, when merged with the contents of S.B. 349, “which provides important procedural assurances for regulations” would create reforms that are “comprehensive and balanced”. CBIA targeted specific changes to the bill which would make it acceptable to its members.

Betsy Gara, Executive Director, Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) testified in favor of the proposal, stating that the concept would “eliminate unnecessary government regulations to improve the efficiency of state government and reduce the burdens on municipalities and other entities”. COST recommended the removal of Section 33, line 1471 in order to maintain oversight of noise pollution by the state as opposed to municipalities.

Andy Markowski, Connecticut State Director, National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) testified in support of the legislation, stating that the bill encouraged members “by actions which result in swifter, more efficient state government” but are aware of the “impact that this bill may have on many existing provisions of Connecticut's Uniform Administrative Procedures Act which can provide balance and protections to impacted small businesses during the regulation-making process.”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Joyce Hemingson, Ph.D., President, FairWindCT testified in opposition to certain provisions contained in Sections 33 and 34, which repeal statutory authority of DEEP to administer and enforce noise pollution controls, causing concern regarding the potential for noise pollution created by commercial wind turbines.

Raphael L. Podolsky, Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut, Inc. testified in opposition of parts of the proposal, stating that “some of the changes contained in this bill will adversely impact both the ability of the public to have input and the review provided by the Attorney General and the legislatures' Regulations Review Committee”.

Reported by: Len Greene

Date: 3/27/14