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AB-2 Regulations: legislative review: regulatory reform.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 12/07/2020 09:00 PM
AB2:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2


Introduced by Assembly Member Fong

December 07, 2020


An act to amend Sections 11343.4 and 11349.3 of, and to add and repeal Chapter 3.6 (commencing with Section 11366) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, relating to state government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2, as introduced, Fong. Regulations: legislative review: regulatory reform.
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. That act requires an agency, prior to submitting a proposal to adopt, amend, or repeal an administrative regulation, to determine the economic impact of that regulation, in accordance with certain procedures. The act defines a major regulation as a regulation, as specified, that will have an economic impact on California business enterprises and individuals in an amount exceeding $50,000,000, as estimated by the agency. The act requires the office to transmit a copy of a regulation to the Secretary of State for filing if the office approves the regulation or fails to act on it within 30 days. The act provides that a regulation or an order of repeal of a regulation becomes effective on a quarterly basis, as prescribed, except in specified instances.
This bill would require the office to submit to each house of the Legislature for review a copy of each major regulation that it submits to the Secretary of State. The bill would add another exception to those currently provided that specifies that a regulation does not become effective if the Legislature enacts a statute to override the regulation.
The Administrative Procedure Act requires the Office of Administrative Law and a state agency proposing to adopt, amend, or repeal a regulation to review the proposed changes for, among other things, consistency with existing state regulations.
This bill would require each state agency to, on or before January 1, 2023, review that agency’s regulations, identify any regulations that are duplicative, overlapping, inconsistent, or out of date, to revise those identified regulations, as provided, and report to the Legislature and Governor, as specified. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2024.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 11343.4 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11343.4.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), a regulation or an order of repeal required to be filed with the Secretary of State shall become effective on a quarterly basis as follows:
(1) January 1 if the regulation or order of repeal is filed on September 1 to November 30, inclusive.
(2) April 1 if the regulation or order of repeal is filed on December 1 to February 29, inclusive.
(3) July 1 if the regulation or order of repeal is filed on March 1 to May 31, inclusive.
(4) October 1 if the regulation or order of repeal is filed on June 1 to August 31, inclusive.
(b) The effective dates in subdivision (a) shall not apply in all of the following:
(1) The effective date is specifically provided by the statute pursuant to which the regulation or order of repeal was adopted, in which event it becomes effective on the day prescribed by the statute.
(2) A later date is prescribed by the state agency in a written instrument filed with, or as part of, the regulation or order of repeal.
(3) The agency makes a written request to the office demonstrating good cause for an earlier effective date, in which case the office may prescribe an earlier date.
(4) (A) A regulation adopted by the Fish and Game Commission that is governed by Article 2 (commencing with Section 250) of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of the Fish and Game Code.
(B) A regulation adopted by the Fish and Game Commission that requires a different effective date in order to conform to a federal regulation.
(5) When the Legislature enacts a statute to override the regulation.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11349.3 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11349.3.
 (a) (1) The office shall either approve a regulation submitted to it for review and transmit it to the Secretary of State for filing or disapprove a regulation within 30 working days after the regulation has been submitted to the office for review. If the office fails to act within 30 days, the regulation shall be deemed to have been approved and the office shall transmit it to the Secretary of State for filing.
(2) The office shall submit a copy of each major regulation submitted to the Secretary of State pursuant to paragraph (1) to each house of the Legislature for review.
(b) If the office disapproves a regulation, it shall return it to the adopting agency within the 30-day period specified in subdivision (a) accompanied by a notice specifying the reasons for disapproval. Within seven calendar days of the issuance of the notice, the office shall provide the adopting agency with a written decision detailing the reasons for disapproval. A regulation shall not be disapproved except for failure to comply with the standards set forth in Section 11349.1 or for failure to comply with this chapter.
(c) If an agency determines, on its own initiative, that a regulation submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) should be returned by the office prior to completion of the office’s review, it may request the return of the regulation. All requests for the return of a regulation shall be memorialized in writing by the submitting agency no later than one week following the request. Any regulation returned pursuant to this subdivision shall be resubmitted to the office for review within the one-year period specified in subdivision (b) of Section 11346.4 or shall comply with Article 5 (commencing with Section 11346) prior to resubmission.
(d) The office shall not initiate the return of a regulation pursuant to subdivision (c) as an alternative to disapproval pursuant to subdivision (b).

SEC. 3.

 Chapter 3.6 (commencing with Section 11366) is added to Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
CHAPTER  3.6. Regulatory Reform
Article  1. Findings and Declarations

11366.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370), Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400), and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500)) requires agencies and the Office of Administrative Law to review regulations to ensure their consistency with law and to consider impacts on the state’s economy and businesses, including small businesses.
(b) However, the act does not require agencies to individually review their regulations to identify overlapping, inconsistent, duplicative, or out-of-date regulations that may exist.
(c) At a time when the state’s economy is slowly recovering, unemployment and underemployment continue to affect all Californians, especially older workers and younger workers who received college degrees in the last seven years but are still awaiting their first great job, and with state government improving but in need of continued fiscal discipline, it is important that state agencies systematically identify, publicly review, and eliminate overlapping, inconsistent, duplicative, or out-of-date regulations, both to ensure laws are more efficiently implemented and enforced and to reduce unnecessary and outdated rules and regulations.

Article  2. Definitions

11366.1.
 For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “State agency” means a state agency, as defined in Section 11000, except those state agencies or activities described in Section 11340.9.
(b) “Regulation” has the same meaning as provided in Section 11342.600.

Article  3. State Agency Duties

11366.2.
 On or before January 1, 2023, each state agency shall do all of the following:
(a) Review all provisions of the California Code of Regulations adopted by that state agency.
(b) Identify any regulations that are duplicative, overlapping, inconsistent, or out of date.
(c) Adopt, amend, or repeal regulations to reconcile or eliminate any duplication, overlap, inconsistencies, or out-of-date provisions, and shall comply with the process specified in Article 5 (commencing with Section 11346) of Chapter 3.5, unless the addition, revision, or deletion is without regulatory effect and may be done pursuant to Section 100 of Title 1 of the California Code of Regulations.
(d) Hold at least one noticed public hearing, which shall be noticed on the internet website of the state agency, for the purposes of accepting public comment on proposed revisions to its regulations.
(e) Notify the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of each house of the Legislature of the revisions to regulations that the state agency proposes to make at least 30 days prior to initiating the process under Article 5 (commencing with Section 11346) of Chapter 3.5 or Section 100 of Title 1 of the California Code of Regulations.
(g) (1) Report to the Governor and the Legislature on the state agency’s compliance with this chapter, including the number and content of regulations the state agency identifies as duplicative, overlapping, inconsistent, or out of date, and the state agency’s actions to address those regulations.
(2) The report shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

11366.3.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2023, each agency listed in Section 12800 shall notify a department, board, or other unit within that agency of any existing regulations adopted by that department, board, or other unit that the agency has determined may be duplicative, overlapping, or inconsistent with a regulation adopted by another department, board, or other unit within that agency.
(b) A department, board, or other unit within an agency shall notify that agency of revisions to regulations that it proposes to make at least 90 days prior to a noticed public hearing pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 11366.2 and at least 90 days prior to adoption, amendment, or repeal of the regulations pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 11366.2. The agency shall review the proposed regulations and make recommendations to the department, board, or other unit within 30 days of receiving the notification regarding any duplicative, overlapping, or inconsistent regulation of another department, board, or other unit within the agency.

11366.4.
 An agency listed in Section 12800 shall notify a state agency of any existing regulations adopted by that agency that may duplicate, overlap, or be inconsistent with the state agency’s regulations.

11366.45.
 This chapter shall not be construed to weaken or undermine in any manner any human health, public or worker rights, public welfare, environmental, or other protection established under statute. This chapter shall not be construed to affect the authority or requirement for an agency to adopt regulations as provided by statute. Rather, it is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that state agencies focus more efficiently and directly on their duties as prescribed by law so as to use scarce public dollars more efficiently to implement the law, while achieving equal or improved economic and public benefits.

Article  4. Chapter Repeal

11366.5.
  This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.