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AB-939 Administrative Procedure Act: major regulations.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/22/2019 09:00 PM
AB939:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 22, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 939


Introduced by Assembly Members Frazier, Arambula, Burke, Cooper, Daly, Grayson, Ramos, and Salas

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Sections 11346.45 and 11346.8 of the Government Code, relating to state government. An act to amend Section 11342.548 of the Government Code, relating to regulations.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 939, as amended, Frazier. California Environmental Protection Agency: regulations. Administrative Procedure Act: major regulations.
Existing law, the Administrative Procedure Act, in part, sets forth the requirements for the adoption, publication, review, and implementation of regulations by state agencies, and for review of those regulatory actions by the Office of Administrative Law. Existing law requires a state agency, prior to submitting a proposal to adopt, amend, or repeal an administrative regulation, to determine the economic impact of the regulation by preparing an economic impact assessment.
Existing law requires a state agency proposing to adopt, amend, or repeal a major regulation to also prepare a standardized regulatory impact analysis, and defines a “major regulation” as a regulation that the state agency estimates will have an economic impact on California business enterprises and individuals in an amount exceeding $50,000,000.
This bill would instead define “major regulation” to be a regulation that the state agency estimates will have an economic impact on California business enterprises and individuals in an amount exceeding $30,000,000.

Existing law establishes the California Environmental Protection Agency under the supervision of the Secretary for Environmental Protection, consisting of various departments, boards, commissions, and offices and vests the agency with authority over various environmental matters. The Administrative Procedure Act generally governs the procedure for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of regulations by state agencies and requires a state agency to provide the public with a specified notice that contains certain information when proposing to adopt, amend, or repeal a regulation. Existing law requires a state agency, prior to publication of the required notice, to involve parties who would be subject to the proposed regulations in public discussions when the proposed regulation involves complex proposals or a large number of proposals that cannot be easily reviewed during the comment period. Existing law provides that if a public hearing is held, both oral and written statements, arguments, and contentions are required to be permitted, and, if a public hearing is not held, the state agency is required to afford any interested party or the party’s duly authorized representative the opportunity to present statements, arguments, and contentions in writing.

This bill would require the California Environmental Protection Agency and any department, board, commission, or office within the California Environmental Protection Agency to provide to the public, not later than 72 hours prior to involvement of the public through workshops or any other proceedings, all material and presentations relevant to the process regarding complex proposals described above. The bill would also require the California Environmental Protection Agency and any department, board, commission, or office within the California Environmental Protection Agency to provide to the public, not later than 72 hours before a hearing, all material and presentations relevant to the hearing.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 11342.548 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11342.548.
 “Major regulation” means any proposed adoption, amendment, or repeal of a regulation subject to review by the Office of Administrative Law pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 11349) that will have an economic impact on California business enterprises and individuals in an amount exceeding fifty thirty million dollars ($50,000,000), ($30,000,000), as estimated by the agency.

SECTION 1.Section 11346.45 of the Government Code is amended to read:
11346.45.

(a)(1)In order to increase public participation and improve the quality of regulations, state agencies proposing to adopt regulations shall, prior to publication of the notice required by Section 11346.5, involve parties who would be subject to the proposed regulations in public discussions regarding those proposed regulations, when the proposed regulations involve complex proposals or a large number of proposals that cannot easily be reviewed during the comment period.

(2)The California Environmental Protection Agency and any department, board, commission, or office within the California Environmental Protection Agency shall provide to the public, not later than 72 hours prior to involvement of the public through workshops or any other proceedings, all material and presentations relevant to the process described in paragraph (1).

(b)This section does not apply to a state agency in any instance where that state agency is required to implement federal law and regulations for which there is little or no discretion on the part of the state to vary.

(c)If the agency does not or cannot comply with the provisions of subdivision (a), it shall state the reasons for noncompliance with reasonable specificity in the rulemaking record.

(d)The provisions of this section shall not be subject to judicial review or to the provisions of Section 11349.1.

SEC. 2.Section 11346.8 of the Government Code is amended to read:
11346.8.

(a)(1)If a public hearing is held, both oral and written statements, arguments, or contentions, shall be permitted. The agency may impose reasonable limitations on oral presentations. If a public hearing is not scheduled, the state agency shall, consistent with Section 11346.4, afford any interested person or the person’s duly authorized representative, the opportunity to present statements, arguments or contentions in writing. In addition, a public hearing shall be held if, no later than 15 days prior to the close of the written comment period, an interested person or the person’s duly authorized representative submits in writing to the state agency, a request to hold a public hearing. The state agency shall, to the extent practicable, provide notice of the time, date, and place of the hearing by mailing the notice to every person who has filed a request for notice thereby with the state agency. The state agency shall consider all relevant matter presented to it before adopting, amending, or repealing any regulation.

(2)The California Environmental Protection Agency and any department, board, commission, or office within the California Environmental Protection Agency shall provide to the public, not later than 72 hours before a hearing, all materials and presentations relevant to the hearing.

(b)In any hearing under this section, the state agency or its duly authorized representative shall have authority to administer oaths or affirmations. An agency may continue or postpone a hearing from time to time to the time and at the place as it determines. If a hearing is continued or postponed, the state agency shall provide notice to the public as to when it will be resumed or rescheduled.

(c)No state agency may adopt, amend, or repeal a regulation which has been changed from that which was originally made available to the public pursuant to Section 11346.5, unless the change is (1) nonsubstantial or solely grammatical in nature, or (2) sufficiently related to the original text that the public was adequately placed on notice that the change could result from the originally proposed regulatory action. If a sufficiently related change is made, the full text of the resulting adoption, amendment, or repeal, with the change clearly indicated, shall be made available to the public for at least 15 days before the agency adopts, amends, or repeals the resulting regulation. Any written comments received regarding the change must be responded to in the final statement of reasons required by Section 11346.9.

(d)No state agency shall add any material to the record of the rulemaking proceeding after the close of the public hearing or comment period, unless the agency complies with Section 11347.1. This subdivision does not apply to material prepared pursuant to Section 11346.9.

(e)If a comment made at a public hearing raises a new issue concerning a proposed regulation and a member of the public requests additional time to respond to the new issue before the state agency takes final action, it is the intent of the Legislature that rulemaking agencies consider granting the request for additional time if, under the circumstances, granting the request is practical and does not unduly delay action on the regulation.