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Rules Review to review every rule

The 68-page bill the legislature passed last week that subtracts, adds and changes state regulations includes a requirement for all state rules to be reviewed every 10 years. Those rules that aren't reviewed under a deadline set by the Rules Review Commission could be wiped from the books, unless they are required by federal law.

The legislature has been on a campaign to rid the state of rules they say burden businesses. House bill 74 would require state agencies to analyze each rule every 10 years to determine whether it is "necessary with substantial public interest", "necessary without substantive public interest," or unnecessary.

How many rules are there? 23,574

The agency will then post the results of their determinations online and invite public comment. A report on results will go to the Rules Review Commission.

Rules Review then reviews public comments and sends a report to the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee. Rules the commission decides are unnecessary will expire. If the legislative committee and Rules Review don't see eye-to-eye on a rule, it could be the subject of another agency review the following year.

These complicated rules for keeping rules will be difficult for agencies and the commission to handle, said Mary Maclean Asbill, a lobbyist for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

"It's all part of this mantra that environmental protections and safeguards are bad for the economy," she said.

Omnibus regulatory reform bill gets OK in Senate

An omnibus regulatory reform bill would address environmental regulations, city ordinances, wages and other areas of government. The Senate passed the bill Friday in a 26-7 vote.

Several senators raised concerns with portions of the 60-provision bill, House Bill 74.

“It would prohibit livable wage ordinances by communities,” said Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Durham Democrat. “Overall there are some good portions (in the bill), but some portions give me very deep concerns.”

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