Bill to limit regulatory creep fails on Senate floor
Salem, OR – Senate Republicans forced a vote on Senate Joint Resolution 32 Thursday morning, a bill that would have given the legislature veto authority over job-killing agency rules. The bill failed on a party line vote.
“Businesses routinely report that Oregon’s regulatory burden threatens them with death by a thousand cuts,” said Senator Chris Telfer (R-Bend). “This bill would provide a valuable check on run-away agency rulemaking, and give the legislature the ability to veto rules that are currently suffocating Oregon businesses.”
State agencies currently write administrative rules to raise fees and clarify details relating to newly adopted legislation. Often these fees and rules extend beyond the original intent of the legislature and present a significant and excessive burden to Oregon employers. Senate Joint Resolution 32 would require the Senate to approve new agency rules before they could become effective, much like the Senate approves executive appointments to state boards and agencies made by the Governor.
“For businesses to be successful, they need to focus on providing a quality product for a fair price,” said Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River). “The constantly changing swamp of administrative rules forces businesses to focus instead on bureaucratic reports and new requirements. I voted yes on SJR 32 because it would give business the chance to focus on growing, succeeding and creating jobs, rather than constant government paperwork.”
There are 180 state agencies, boards and commissions, all with rule making authority. In 2011, more than 11,000 pages of rules and regulations were printed in the Administrative Rules Compilation, a compendium of all existing agency rules. In the last two years alone, agencies took action 9,588 times to add, amend, and delete administrative rules. That is 11,000 pages of bureaucratic requirements for a business to heed and 9,588 different regulatory changes to track, analyze and comply with. This morass of regulation all requires the time, attention and resources of Oregon’s businesses, especially the small businesses that are the backbone of the state’s economy.