The sponsor of this bill has stricken the enacting clause of this legislation, therefore this bill is no longer active. We have withdrawn our opposition.
This bill unfairly provides business interests a second bite at the apple in the rulemaking process by allowing them to seek changes after the traditional public process is complete. This bill does not provide similar opportunities for members of the public whose public health and environment may be impacted.
Under current law, businesses already have plenty of opportunities to comment on and otherwise influence rules and regulations. The State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) requires agencies to follow a rigorous procedure that provides for public review and opportunities to comment, thereby involving affected industries throughout the rulemaking process. SAPA also requires agencies proposing regulations to consider using regulatory approaches to minimize costs on small businesses, and conduct additional outreach to solicit their involvement in the rulemaking. Furthermore, state agencies must evaluate a proposed regulation’s potential impact on jobs and employment opportunities in New York State.
State agencies promulgate regulations pursuant to overarching statutory authority or specific direction. These rules address various policy issues, from environmental protection and healthy communities, to worker safety and building codes. Businesses have ample opportunities to give their input, and they often do.
After months of public statement hearings and weighing written comments, it would be fundamentally unfair to provide businesses with a special mechanism to go back and ask the agency to make changes to the final rule, strictly for their own benefit. New York State’s rulemaking procedures are designed so that all interested parties and the public are playing on an even field, and can suggest changes and provide feedback when the rules are being developed. Businesses don’t need special treatment after they’ve already engaged in the process and helped to shape a new policy or standard. Further, the public should not have to continuously monitor the State Register to learn about special deals being sought by special interests.
This bill amends the state administrative procedure act to allow regulated businesses to petition a state agency for alternate methods of complying with regulations. It also amends the standard for denying such a petition.