This year several state agencies have reduced their rules, both in number and in length, while other agencies are currently working on making further reductions. Streamlining of state government is a goal of Governor Matt Mead and a reduction of rules is part of the effort. Governor Mead believes fewer rules make government more efficient and transparent to the public and lighten the regulatory burden.
Governor Mead has worked with the Legislature, the Secretary of State's Office, and the Attorney General's Office on this project, resulting in several recommendations to move the streamlining process ahead. Governor Mead has asked agencies, boards and commissions to reduce rules both in number and length by 1/3. This benchmark recognizes some will not be able to achieve it, while others may surpass it.
"The rulemaking process is an important one. Many requirements on individuals, businesses and government come from it. We need to make this process as transparent as possible and we want our rules to be well written, concise and understandable. Obsolete or unnecessary rules should be repealed. Those that remain should be as good and condensed as possible. The government is then in better position to implement and enforce leaner regulatory provisions and the public and business community benefit accordingly," Governor Mead said.
In 2013, the Attorney General's Office has re-written the rulemaking handbook for state agencies, boards and commissions and with the Legislative Service Office provided training to improve writing of rules. Training will be an ongoing effort.
"Wyoming state agencies and my cabinet are committed to reducing rules and improving those on the books. But, there is more we can do. That is why I would like the Legislature to consider a bill that would establish some rules across agencies. For example, when it comes to public records and administrative hearings we would be best served by having a uniform rule, instead of every agency writing its own rule."
Another proposal from the project is to update the State Agencies Administrative Rules Database. This would make it searchable and easier to find existing rules and allow for people to easily follow the rulemaking process for new rules.
The Legislature appropriated $125,000 for this rules reduction project. None of that was spent, but Governor Mead proposes that it could be put toward updating the Rules Database.