Oct. 10, 2013
“Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool.” –Paul Begala, political advisor to President Bill Clinton, on executive orders. (Source: The New York Times, July 5, 1998)
On Tuesday the Journal Record published an article that caught my eye;
Fallin reverses agency rules process
“An executive order, quietly issued by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, is changing the way state agencies develop new rules and policies” http://journalrecord.com/2013/10/08/fallin-reverses-rules-process-capitol/
The word ‘quietly’, in regards to government actions, is always a sure hook.
Governor Fallin’s Executive Order 2013-34 was filed on Sept. 10, 2013.
What the Executive Order says is that upon filing a Notice of Rulemaking Intent with the Office of Administrative Rules, the agency should simultaneously file a copy of the complete text of the proposed rule to the Governor and the appropriate Cabinet Secretary. Further, if within 45 days either the Governor or the Cabinet Secretary disapproved the Proposed Permanent Rule then said proposed rule cannot be adopted. Period. End of sentence.
The Journal Record explains;
Before the order, if a state agency needed a rule change, its officials took the proposal to a member of the Legislature for consideration. Lawmakers and agency representatives negotiated the rule. Often a rule was authorized via joint legislative resolution during the legislative session. Under the state’s administrative procedures act, both the Legislature and the governor had the authority to override a rule or policy change made by a state agency. http://journalrecord.com/2013/10/08/fallin-reverses-rules-process-capitol/
This executive order, however, appears to go against the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act which clearly states that the “Legislature reserves to itself” many rights regarding the rulemaking process.
Six specific rights reserved to the state legislature regarding the rulemaking process are enumerated in the Act but these two stand out the most;
3. The right and responsibility to designate the method for rule promulgation, review and modification.
5. The right to disapprove a proposed rule or amendment to a rule during the legislative review period independent of any action by the Governor by a concurrent resolution.
This executive order removes those rights reserved to the state legislature regarding agency rulemaking with one stroke of the Governor’s pen.
I wonder if the Legislature will mind being having their authority removed by Executive Order? Can Oklahoma statute simply be erased simply by the Governors decree?
Should be interesting.