The Missouri House of Representatives is one vote away from sending the state Senate a measure that would require every rule of the state’s agencies be reviewed at least once a decade.
Representative Jason Smith (R-Salem) is sponsoring the measure, HB 1135, which he says would cover all of the nearly 6,300 regulations of agencies such as the Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Public Service Commission.
Smith says the goal is to install a systematic review process for those rules, “so that if there are problems with it, if they’re causing a burdon on folks, if they’re over broad or if they’re contradictory to the statutes, those rules are removed, rescinded, repromulgated, amended … whatever we can do.”
The bill would require those rules be looked at every ten years or be allowed to expire. It lays out criteria for a review and sets dates for when rules aready in effect would be phased out.
House Democrats testifying on the bill said they liked the concept but not the execution. Representative Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur) says, “I believe we need to look at our rules, streamline them, make sure they’re not duplicative, make sure they’re not contradictory. We have a process in place for that and instead of utlizing that process or improving that process, what I believe this legislation does is akin to slicing through butter with a chainsaw.”
Representative Sara Lampe (D-Springfield) told her colleagues, “Once a rule opens, any additional rule could be added. Also in that process if we’re not careful, things could be eliminated or stopped that we would like not to have happen.
Several democrats remarked that they were unsure if they could vote for the measure in its present form, but it was perfected 105 to 54. With another favorable vote it will go to the Senate where, last year, it was amended and sent back to the House before time expired on the session.
The House is anticipated to give it a third reading today.