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League Asks Gov. Baker to Amend Executive Order on Regulations

LWVMA has asked Governor Charlie Baker to revise his Executive Order #562, which requires all agencies within the Executive department to review every regulation under their jurisdiction.

The League, in a letter, urged the Governor to require that agencies hold public hearings and provide for public comment periods before regulations are changed.  The letter noted that the League supports and encourages regular and objective reviews of state regulations to assure that they are clear, relevant and effective in accomplishing their intended results.

The League does question the provision in the Executive Order that agencies should determine that a regulation “does not exceed federal requirements.”  We feel that Massachusetts has been a pioneer in developing regulations, particularly in the areas of consumer and environmental protection, which have served as models for other states and for federal regulations.  A blanket prohibition on exceeding federal requirements for state regulations could have a serious impact in important areas.

The Executive Order also requires that all regulations that have not been reviewed automatically sunset on March 31, 2016.  Since we feel strongly that the review process should include public hearings and public comment, and since many of the state’s regulations cover complex issues and a review should be thorough and thoughtful, it may be extremely difficult for agencies to carry out a review of all regulations in a public manner by that deadline, and necessary regulations should not be eliminated simply because of time constraints on the process.

The League urges its members and the public to contact Governor Baker and request that the review of regulations be public and open, and that our states’ regulations not be unnecessarily limited by the scope of federal regulations.

You can read the League’s letter to the Governor here.

You can read Executive Order # 562 here.