Pair of House Bills Re-Introduced to Streamline Regulatory Process

Two separate bills were re-introduced in Pennsylvania’s new legislative session to streamline the state’s regulatory process. HB 72 was re-introduced by Rep. Dawn Keefer (R), York/Cumberland County, which will give the General Assembly greater oversight in the regulatory process.

Keefer’s legislation is modeled after the Federal “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act).” HB 72 establishes an enhanced review process for major regulations that impose a substantial cost burden on the Commonwealth. A major regulation or economically significant regulation is defined as having an impact on the state, municipalities and/or the business community of $1 million or more per year.

Under the proposed bill, the General Assembly will be required to vote on a concurrent resolution to approve an economically significant regulation, in order for that regulation to go into effect. Specifically, if Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) has approved the regulation or the agency has decided to implement the regulation without IRRC’s approval, a concurrent resolution is introduced in the legislature and must be considered and passed by the House and Senate.

The bill was passed by the House during the 2019-20 session as part of a broader regulatory reform package but did not receive approval by the Senate.

In addition, Rep. Greg Rothman (R), Cumberland County has re-introduced HB 139 which will increase permit transparency. HB 139 will require all agencies, which issue permits, to increase transparency throughout the process.

The legislation will require agencies to post information about the permits that they grant on their website, to create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications and to clearly state the legal authority that the agency relies on when rejecting a permit application. Similar legislation was not passed during the 2019-2020 session.

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