On Wednesday, August 9, Gov. Scott Walker signed the REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act into law at the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. The bill, which makes various administrative rule changes, was reintroduced this session by Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) after passing the Assembly last session, but stalling in the Senate.
Act 57 (formerly SB 15) requires explicit legislative approval – passage of a bill – for any administrative rules costing $10 million over any two-year period. Other provisions of the REINS Act include:
- Requiring the Department of Administration to review scope statements for proposed administrative rules for a determination of the agency’s statutory authority,
- Requiring agencies to hold public hearings on scope statements at the request of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR),
- Allowing JCRAR to request an independent economic impact analysis for a proposed rule; and
- Allowing JCRAR to make an indefinite objection to a proposed rule that prevents the agency from promulgating it.
Proponents of the bill, including Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and Associated Builders and Contractors, believe the law gives citizens a voice in the rule-making process and will improve Wisconsin’s regulatory climate.
The bill passed the Senate in May on a 19-14 party line vote, with Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) the only Republican voting no. The bill passed the Assembly in June on a 62-34 party line vote.