This legislation reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how state agencies maintain their portfolio of regulatory standards. This bill diverts the staff of agencies and authorities away from their daily responsibilities to unnecessary, duplicative and time-consuming clerical work. A lesson that we all should learn from the contaminated water crisis in Hoosick Falls is the need to strengthen regulations, not propose policies that obstruct agencies responsible for protecting us from harm.
State agencies and authorities are already legally mandated to review regulations every five years. This process identifies rules that can be amended for consistency or for technical updates, or to be repealed when they are wholly out-of-date.
Agencies are already struggling to meet the politically inspired goal of “doing more with less.” Adding another layer of bureaucracy will further distract from their primary mission of protecting the health, safety and welfare of all New Yorkers.
This bill adds a new section 208 to the State Administrative Procedure Act requiring all agencies and authorities to designate a regulatory reform officer and establish a regulatory reform task force made up senior agency officials to oversee the agency’s regulatory responsibilities. Agencies and authorities are required to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations regarding their repeal, replacement or modification. The bill also mandates monthly meetings between agency heads, senior officials and the regulatory reform officer; internal progress reports; and annual reports to the Governor, legislative leaders and the co-chairs of the Administrative Regulations Review Commission.