GUEST

Rep. Danny Williams: More oversight to agency rules

By Rep. Danny Williams

We passed some great legislation this session, and over the next few months I will use my Capitol Update to highlight some of those bills for you. We work for you, the people, and you should know what we got done and how it will affect our district and our state.

I’d like to first highlight an important piece of legislation pertaining to Administrative Rules, which is an important area of law that has a direct impact on every industry in our state.

Senate Bill 913 gives the Legislature more oversight over agency rulemaking, which consequently gives the people more of a voice in the rulemaking process.

The legislation creates the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to consider proposed rules, amended rules and repeal requests submitted by an agency. Emergency rules must be sent to the chairs of the Joint Committee for review.

The measure allows the Legislature to repeal an agency rule by joint resolution and removes the Governor’s authority to repeal agency rules by declaration. Agencies exempted from the Administrative Procedures Act or pursuing a pre-emptive rule are directed to publish exempt rules on any website associated with the agency. Agencies are also directed to publish agency rules on their website.

Additionally, the measure requires agencies to respond to small businesses requesting a review of their rules no later than 90 business days and to the Legislature or Governor within 30 days instead of the 90 days currently provided for in law.

No agency may adopt or revoke any proposed rule or amendment if the agency receives express written disapproval from the Governor or the cabinet secretary within 30 days of providing notice of a rule change to the Governor and cabinet secretary.

If the Governor or cabinet secretary does not disapprove within 30 days, the agency may proceed with the rulemaking process. If the Governor disapproves the rule, the Governor must return the entire document to the agency and notice of the disapproval is to be given to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the chairs of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

Any rule not approved by the Governor will not become effective unless otherwise approved by the Legislature by joint resolution.

Lastly, the measure creates a procedure for the expedited repeal of rules beginning September 1, 2021. An agency may submit a request for expedited repeal of a rule to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, whereupon they will assign the request to the Joint Committee to conduct the repeal process. The request must be accompanied by a statement of the purpose for the repeal. Upon completion of the comment period, the Joint Committee may schedule a hearing on the agency repeal request. If the Committee approves the repeal, it is to be presented to the Legislature for final approval.

As always, please feel free to reach out to my office to ask questions or share thoughts on legislation. My office phone is (405) 557-7372 and my email is danny.williams@okhouse.gov.

Thank you for the honor of representing House District 28!

Rep. Danny Williams, a Republican, represents House District 28 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes Seminole County and northern Pottawatomie County.