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Bill would require legislative approval of some agency rule changes

Chip Brownlee

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A pre-filed bill would require agencies to seek legislative approval from Alabama lawmakers before enacting any new rule or rule change that would have an economic impact of more than $1 million.

Rep. Wes Allen, a Republican, said he is proposing the legislation because new regulations make it hard for small businesses and farmers to run their businesses successfully.

“I believe that it is important for agencies to understand their role and that their actions have a real impact on people,” Allen said. “With this bill, we will know what the true monetary impact of rule changes are and the legislature will have to sign off on them before they are enacted.”

The bill is pre-file as House Bill 66.

“It is time that unelected bureaucrats realized that they work for the people of Alabama and not the other way around,” Allen said. “I promised that this was something I would work to change and I keep my promises.”

The bill would set a minimum threshold for a rule’s estimated economic impact. If the total costs of the rule’s economic impact exceed $1 million, the rule wouldn’t take effect without a joint resolution approval from the Legislature or submission to a joint committee for approval of a modification to the rule to reduce the cost.

If the cost exceeds $750,000, the Legislative Services Agency’s Fiscal Division would need to perform an analysis to test the veracity and accuracy of the fiscal analysis.

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“Cutting red tape” was a theme of Allen’s campaign.

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The legislative session begins on March 5.

Allen represents Pike County and parts of Dale County.

 

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