Gov. Sununu Puts Hold on Administrative Rule-Making

by Steve MacDonald

Chris sununu

Gov. Sununu has issued a 90-day moratorium on rules making in all New Hampshire state agencies and requested each provide a comprehensive report on whether current or proposed rules are mandated by law.

From, Kevin Landrigan, reporting in the Manchester Union Leader,

“We all recognize that government regulations are intended to protect and promote the public health, safety, or welfare of our state, but that certain regulations may impose unnecessary burdens and costs on our state’s citizens and businesses,” Sununu said. “It is therefore necessary for the executive branch to undertake a comprehensive review of the state’s regulations in order to ensure that state government is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

These sorts of things are typically for “show” but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until March when the Executive branch reviews the reports and responds.

Leave a Comment

  • Radical Moderate

    Sounds like a good start, but I have a few question;
    How would getting rid of these regulations translate to our localities? If our towns/cities have the same or even stricter regulations will the Governors order apply to them as well or will we still have to suffer under them at the local level even though the state government has gotten rid of them?
    Another question, does anyone know if the Governor has any plans on property tax relief for the regular NH home owner? Or maybe any plans to fight against the obscene school budgets that make up at least 75% of our property tax bills?

    • Ed Naile

      He could sign a law that prevents governing bodies in SB#2 municipalities from gaming the Default Budget.
      Sign a law making citizen petition warrant articles untouchable.
      Both those moves enable citizens to have a more effective say in annual meetings.

  • kervick

    Excellent start.

  • I don’t think Sununu has issued any moratorium: he just made a request during a speech.

    • Radical Moderate

      Ok,Timothy I will defer to your knowledge on this issue, does a NH Governor in fact have the legal authority to issue such a moratorium?

  • Ed Naile

    RSA 541-A:1 definition of “rule”
    XV. “Rule” means each regulation, standard, form as defined in paragraph VII-a, or other statement of general applicability adopted by an agency to (a) implement, interpret, or make specific a statute enforced or administered by such agency or (b) prescribe or interpret an agency policy, procedure or practice requirement binding on persons outside the agency, whether members of the general public or personnel in other agencies. The term does not include (a) internal memoranda which set policy applicable only to its own employees and which do not affect private rights or change the substance of rules binding upon the public, (b) informational pamphlets, letters, or other explanatory material which refer to a statute or rule without affecting its substance or interpretation, (c) personnel records relating to the hiring, dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee, or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigating of any charges against such employee, or (d) declaratory rulings. The term “rule” shall include rules adopted by the director of personnel, department of administrative services, relative to the state employee personnel system. Notwithstanding the requirements of RSA 21-I:14, the term “rule” shall not include the manual described in RSA 21-I:14, I or the standards for the format, content, and style of agency annual and biennial reports described in RSA 21-I:14, IX, which together comprise the manual commonly known as the administrative services manual of procedures. The manual shall be subject to the approval of governor and council.

    I’m thinking the Governor has a say over rules.

    • With the Council, which is majority Republican so I’d agree.

      And as the chief executive it is probably in the best interest of those in his charge to take him seriously when he asks them to put a hold on new rules and make time to produce a compendium of existing rules for review.

      As for his legal authority, he’s the governor. I know that doesn’t mean much in New Hampshire, but department heads work for him so…

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