Time for a little legislative cleanup
During the next two weeks, the legislature will be meeting in committees to review hundreds of rules from state agencies, commissions, and constitutional offices.
Often times after the legislature passes a law, agencies must make rules to determine how those laws will be carried out or enforced.
The procedures that agencies follow is typically known as the “rule making process.” It is designed to ensure the public has an opportunity to review and comment before it is adopted.
Rules flesh out details not written in legislation but are needed to administer a program.
For example, in 2013 the General Assembly passed a law allowing certain counties to establish a vote center which would allow voters from any precinct to cast a ballot at that center on Election Day. To ensure the law is correctly applied, the Secretary of State’s Office drafted rules that established standards for the maintenance and testing of equipment. The office also needed to establish procedures for vote centers to follow if the electronic system failed.
With more than a thousand laws passed every session, some rules become outdated over time. That is why during the last session we passed Act 781. This allows agencies to present rules they wish to repeal before legislative committees. Agencies will also present a list of rules that will continue to be enforced.
The committees will then make recommendations to Legislative Council which will meet before the end of the year to vote on the changes.
These meetings began Monday, Aug. 27, and will continue through Friday, Sept. 7. We will not be meeting on Labor Day.
More than 100 agencies are scheduled to present their rules.
On our website you will find a list of the daily schedule and the rules that will be presented to the committees on that day. Visit www.arkansashouse.org.
From State Representative Milton Nicks