JCRAR Briefed on REINS Act

On Thursday, September 7, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCRAR) received a briefing on changes in the committee as a result of the REINS (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) Act (Act 57). Under the new law, a co-chair of JCRAR could request a comment period and hearing for a scope statement. The law also gives JCRAR the authority to request an independent Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) and to indefinitely object to any proposed rule, thus preventing the agency from promulgating it. Under the new law, an agency must also provide notice to JCRAR any time a proposed rule is submitted for the governor’s approval.

After briefing the committee on these changes, Legislative Council answered legislators’ questions regarding the changes. Specifically, Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) asked about requirements for JCRAR and agency follow-up in the new process. Legislative Council clarified that JCRAR would not be specifically notified if a rule surpasses the act’s less-than-$10 million EIA requirement, but Act 57 makes that rule statutorily unenforceable. Legislative Council also clarified that the new law does not provide any specific deadlines or actions for agencies or JCRAR after an indefinite objection is raised by the committee. The only remedy to such an objection would be future legislation.

The REINS Act passed the legislature in June and was signed by Gov. Scott Walker in August.

Legislative Council Act 57 memo: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/related/lcactmemo/act057.pdf