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AB-2738 Regulations: agency statement of reasons.(2009-2010)

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AB2738:v93#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2738
CHAPTER 398

An act to amend, add, and repeal Section 11346.2 of the Government Code, relating to regulations, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

[ Approved by Governor  September 25, 2010. Filed with Secretary of State  September 27, 2010. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2738, Niello. Regulations: agency statement of reasons.
Existing law, the Administrative Procedure Act, governs the procedure for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of regulations by state agencies and for the review of those regulatory actions by the Office of Administrative Law.
Existing law requires an agency to submit to the office, among other things, an initial statement of reasons for proposing the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a regulation that includes, among other things, a description of reasonable alternatives to the regulation. Existing law requires, for a regulation that would mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment or prescribe specific actions or procedures, that the imposition of performance standards be considered as an alternative and that the initial statement of reasons include a statement of reasons why the agency believes that mandates or prescriptive standards are required.
This bill would, from January 1, 2012, until January 1, 2014, recast these provisions and require that the initial statement of reasons also include a description of any performance standard that was considered as an alternative to the proposed adoption, amendment, or repeal of the regulation.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 11346.2 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11346.2.
 Every agency subject to this chapter shall prepare, submit to the office with the notice of the proposed action as described in Section 11346.5, and make available to the public upon request, all of the following:
(a) A copy of the express terms of the proposed regulation.
(1) The agency shall draft the regulation in plain, straightforward language, avoiding technical terms as much as possible, and using a coherent and easily readable style. The agency shall draft the regulation in plain English.
(2) The agency shall include a notation following the express terms of each California Code of Regulations section, listing the specific statutes or other provisions of law authorizing the adoption of the regulation and listing the specific statutes or other provisions of law being implemented, interpreted, or made specific by that section in the California Code of Regulations.
(3) The agency shall use underline or italics to indicate additions to, and strikeout to indicate deletions from, the California Code of Regulations.
(b) An initial statement of reasons for proposing the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a regulation. This statement of reasons shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) A statement of the specific purpose of each adoption, amendment, or repeal and the rationale for the determination by the agency that each adoption, amendment, or repeal is reasonably necessary to carry out the purpose for which it is proposed. Where the adoption or amendment of a regulation would mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment, a statement of the reasons why the agency believes these mandates or prescriptive standards are required.
(2) An identification of each technical, theoretical, and empirical study, report, or similar document, if any, upon which the agency relies in proposing the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a regulation.
(3) (A) A description of reasonable alternatives to the regulation and the agency’s reasons for rejecting those alternatives. In the case of a regulation that would mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment or prescribe specific actions or procedures, the imposition of performance standards shall be considered as an alternative.
(B) A description of reasonable alternatives to the regulation that would lessen any adverse impact on small business and the agency’s reasons for rejecting those alternatives.
(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) or (B), an agency is not required to artificially construct alternatives, describe unreasonable alternatives, or justify why it has not described alternatives.
(4) Facts, evidence, documents, testimony, or other evidence on which the agency relies to support an initial determination that the action will not have a significant adverse economic impact on business.
(5) A department, board, or commission within the Environmental Protection Agency, the Resources Agency, or the Office of the State Fire Marshal shall describe its efforts, in connection with a proposed rulemaking action, to avoid unnecessary duplication or conflicts with federal regulations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations addressing the same issues. These agencies may adopt regulations different from federal regulations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations addressing the same issues upon a finding of one or more of the following justifications:
(A) The differing state regulations are authorized by law.
(B) The cost of differing state regulations is justified by the benefit to human health, public safety, public welfare, or the environment.
(c) A state agency that adopts or amends a regulation mandated by federal law or regulations, the provisions of which are identical to a previously adopted or amended federal regulation, shall be deemed to have complied with subdivision (b) if a statement to the effect that a federally mandated regulation or amendment to a regulation is being proposed, together with a citation to where an explanation of the provisions of the regulation can be found, is included in the notice of proposed adoption or amendment prepared pursuant to Section 11346.5. However, the agency shall comply fully with this chapter with respect to any provisions in the regulation that the agency proposes to adopt or amend that are different from the corresponding provisions of the federal regulation.
(d) This section shall be inoperative from January 1, 2012, until January 1, 2014.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11346.2 is added to the Government Code, to read:

11346.2.
 Every agency subject to this chapter shall prepare, submit to the office with the notice of the proposed action as described in Section 11346.5, and make available to the public upon request, all of the following:
(a) A copy of the express terms of the proposed regulation.
(1) The agency shall draft the regulation in plain, straightforward language, avoiding technical terms as much as possible, and using a coherent and easily readable style. The agency shall draft the regulation in plain English.
(2) The agency shall include a notation following the express terms of each California Code of Regulations section, listing the specific statutes or other provisions of law authorizing the adoption of the regulation and listing the specific statutes or other provisions of law being implemented, interpreted, or made specific by that section in the California Code of Regulations.
(3) The agency shall use underline or italics to indicate additions to, and strikeout to indicate deletions from, the California Code of Regulations.
(b) An initial statement of reasons for proposing the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a regulation. This statement of reasons shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) A statement of the specific purpose of each adoption, amendment, or repeal and the rationale for the determination by the agency that each adoption, amendment, or repeal is reasonably necessary to carry out the purpose for which it is proposed.
(2) An identification of each technical, theoretical, and empirical study, report, or similar document, if any, upon which the agency relies in proposing the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a regulation.
(3) Where the adoption or amendment of a regulation would mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment, a statement of the reasons why the agency believes these mandates or prescriptive standards are required.
(4) (A) A description of reasonable alternatives to the regulation and the agency’s reasons for rejecting those alternatives.
(B) A description of any performance standard that was considered as an alternative. In the case of a regulation that would mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment or prescribe specific actions or procedures, the imposition of performance standards shall be considered as an alternative.
(C) A description of reasonable alternatives to the regulation that would lessen any adverse impact on small business and the agency’s reasons for rejecting those alternatives.
(D) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), (B), or (C), an agency is not required to artificially construct alternatives, describe unreasonable alternatives, or justify why it has not described alternatives.
(5) Facts, evidence, documents, testimony, or other evidence on which the agency relies to support an initial determination that the action will not have a significant adverse economic impact on business.
(6) A department, board, or commission within the Environmental Protection Agency, the Resources Agency, or the Office of the State Fire Marshal shall describe its efforts, in connection with a proposed rulemaking action, to avoid unnecessary duplication or conflicts with federal regulations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations addressing the same issues. These agencies may adopt regulations different from federal regulations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations addressing the same issues upon a finding of one or more of the following justifications:
(A) The differing state regulations are authorized by law.
(B) The cost of differing state regulations is justified by the benefit to human health, public safety, public welfare, or the environment.
(c) A state agency that adopts or amends a regulation mandated by federal law or regulations, the provisions of which are identical to a previously adopted or amended federal regulation, shall be deemed to have complied with subdivision (b) if a statement to the effect that a federally mandated regulation or amendment to a regulation is being proposed, together with a citation to where an explanation of the provisions of the regulation can be found, is included in the notice of proposed adoption or amendment prepared pursuant to Section 11346.5. However, the agency shall comply fully with this chapter with respect to any provisions in the regulation that the agency proposes to adopt or amend that are different from the corresponding provisions of the federal regulation.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2012.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2014, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2014, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 3.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to provide regulatory agencies with maximum lead time on the change in law, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately. This will result in a codified statute as early as possible, and the affected agencies will have sufficient time to adjust their practices.