A measure to improve transparency of state agency rules was approved Tuesday by the full Senate. Sen. Nathan Dahm is the author of the bill that he says will also allow the legislature more oversight of agency rules.
“The legislature delegates rulemaking authority to agencies to enact legislative policy but it’s important that we still have the ability to amend those rules when necessary given that ultimately we’re who has to be accountable to the public and protect their best interests,” said Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. “The bill also ensures that agency rules are easily accessible to the public to improve transparency so that they can see how their tax dollars are being used.”
SB 1130 clarifies that the legislature has the right to amend agency rules, rather than just approve or disapprove them. It requires state agencies to publish rules exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act on their respective websites if they are not copyrighted. If copyrighted, the contact information of the copyright owner must be provided or a weblink to the protected information.
Sen. Anthony Sykes, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was pleased with the bill’s passage.
“Administrative agencies combine all of the powers from the three branches of government while not being subject to the checks and balances designed to make them accountable to the people,” said Sykes, R-Moore. “Senate Bill 1130 returns the people’s voice to the government.”
It also requires that an agency must respond to rule review requests by the governor, legislature or a small business within 60 calendar days rather than 90. The bill also changes the date that rule changes must be submitted by agencies to the legislature from April 1 to February 1 to allow more time for the legislature to review proposed rules that could impact businesses in Oklahoma.
SB 1130 will now move to the House for further consideration.