Gov. Chris Gregoire today released her rules moratorium report detailing the results of an executive order issued in 2010 suspending rule development and adoption through the end of the 2011 calendar year. As a result of the 2010 efforts, cabinet agencies put 483 rules on hold and eliminated 75 all together. An additional executive order in 2011 extended the suspension of the rules moratorium with results forthcoming in 2013.
"Given the results of this report, it is clear that the moratorium was important for our state economy and businesses," Gregoire said. "During this recession we've used the tools available to us to make it easier for our businesses, especially small businesses to survive. This Executive Order accomplished its intended purpose of re-allocating public resources and reducing impacts on small businesses during this recession."
Gregoire's moratorium directed state agencies to suspend new rule development and adoption but not at the expense of public health, safety and welfare. These guidelines allow rules related to employment assistance, consumer protection or government reform to move forward, and allow rulemaking when required by laws or court orders, or to respond to budget cuts or protect fund solvency.
"Small businesses congratulate Governor Gregoire for her leadership and innovation to issue these executive orders," said Gary Smith, president of Independent Business Association. They have proven to be successful."
According to state agencies, federal or state laws drove the majority of the rules that were adopted during the moratorium. The remaining rules were adopted in response to the supplemental budget regarding cuts, public health, welfare and safety, or because they were requested by regulated entities and stakeholders.