Governor Releases Executive Order on Rulemaking

Governor Walker issued Executive Order 50, Relating to Guidelines for the Promulgation of Administrative Rules, on November 2nd. The Governor’s executive order is an important step toward implementation and understanding of the new procedures adopted in 2011 Wisconsin Act 21, which passed during the January special session.

Under the regulatory procedure, agencies must provide a scope statement with a detailed description of a proposed rule and the statutory authority for the rule. They must also detail all of the entities that may be affected by the rule. To proceed, the governor must approve the scope statement.
If the Governor approves the scope statement, the agency must submit an economic impact analysis (EIA) to the State Budget Office for review. The SBO will review all EIAs and provide an official report for any EIAs indicating an economic impact over $20 million.
After the DOA Secretary approves the EIA, the Legislative Council Rules Clearinghouse reviews the rule. The agency must then hold a public hearing. Following the public hearing, the agency drafts the final rule language and submits it to the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Compliance. If the Governor approves the rule, it goes to the legislature for final approval. After final approval, the rule is implemented, and sometimes challenged in the courts.
Adding gubernatorial review to the rulemaking process means that, for the first time, all three branches of government have direct oversight over the process. The public maintains its ability to comment on proposed rules, and gains the benefit of having an elected official that can be held directly responsible for administrative actions.The Great Lakes Legal Foundation has created a chart detailing the rulemaking process to increase awareness of the new process.
Information on, and analysis of, pending and recently enacted Wisconsin rules is available on the Great Lakes Legal Foundation Regulatory Watch website.