SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15
ESTABLISHING A BI-PARTISAN COMMISSION TO EXAMINE THE PROMULGATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF STATE REGULATIONS AND FEES AND TO RECOMMEND LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE FOR LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE OVERSIGHT OF THIS PROCESS.
WHEREAS, Agencies and departments of state government derive their authority to promulgate and implement rules and regulations governing and limiting the activities of citizens of this state from statutes enacted by the General Assembly for specific purposes which that body believes to be In the public interest; and
WHEREAS, in certain instances regulations which are promulgated by an agency or a department pursuant to the provisions of a statute enacted by the General Assembly do not accurately reflect the original legislative intent of the statute; and
WHEREAS, in other cases regulations prove in practice to impose an unnecessarily harsh or onerous burden on an individual, group or class of citizens; and
WHEREAS, while agencies and departments have, in most cases, established appeal periods before new regulations are adopted or fees imposed, thus affording citizens an opportunity to voice concerns and objections, the precise impact of such measures often does not become clear until such appeal periods have expired and the regulations or fees have been put into effect; and
WHEREAS, most regulations and fees may be challenged in the courts, this process is both lengthy and expensive and such a solution is often beyond the means of average citizens; and
WHEREAS, in recent years the revenue base of Delaware State government has begun to shift from its historic emphasis on income and other tax revenues to greater reliance on user fees; and
WHEREAS, at the present time the State of Delaware has hundreds of different permit and user fees in place in a fee system which has grown piecemeal over many years in concert with the growth of the state's body of regulations, with some fee revenues flowing directly into the general fund and others being diverted into various types of appropriated special funds to fund a wide variety of governmental activities and operations; and
WHEREAS, this body of regulations and fees has never been subjected to broad oversight to examine the issues of how closely our body of regulations reflects the laws under which the various rules and regulations were established, whether fees are at the proper level, whether the present disposition of fee revenues is proper to best further the purposes for which they were established; and
WHEREAS, as the burden of fees and regulations has grown heavier on the citizens of this state, little scrutiny has been given to the issue of whether the intent of the laws under which the fees and regulations were implemented could be served in a manner less restrictive and burdensome; and
WHEREAS, forty-one (41) states of the United States have already responded to the rapid proliferation of fees and regulations by establishing some form of permanent legislative oversight process to insure that state departments and agencies go about their constitutional responsibility as components of the executive branch of government to faithfully execute the laws enacted by the legislature;
BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 135th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, with the approval of the Governor, that the General Assembly hereby establishes a Commission to be known as the Commission on Regulations and Permits.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the membership of the Commission shall consist of twelve (12) members to be selected as follows: three members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore, representing each county and both the majority and minority parties;
three members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House representing each county and both the majority and minority parties; the Secretary of Finance, the State Budget Director, the Legal Counsel to the Governor; and three persons
drawn from the private sector who reside one in each county appointed by the Governor after first receiving the concurrence of the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission shall have two co—chairmen to be appointed jointly by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House and that said co-chairmen shall convene the Commission no later than August 1, 1990.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission, in undertaking its study, may establish additional interest—specific committees that can draw members from the Commission, impacted agencies, private sector corporations and agencies, as well as the public at large.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission shall, through public hearings, regularly scheduled open meetings, publications, and the efforts of its individual members, solicit the thoughts and opinions of the citizens of Delaware regarding the process of state regulation creation and enactment as well as the appropriateness of fee and permit levies and the disposition of such funds.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission, after thorough examination of these issues with members of the Governor's cabinet, the impacted and regulated communities, and the public at large, will provide a written report together with proposed draft legislation to the 136th General Assembly and the Governor of the State of Delaware no later than February 1, 1991.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that said draft legislation shall include, but not be limited to, mechanisms for the creation of a system of legislative oversight and review of rules, regulations and license conditions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that said draft legislation shall include mechanisms whereby the Governor and the General Assembly may regularly be provided with assessments of the manner in which new rules, regulations and license conditions would balance benefits and economic costs of compliance, as well as analyses of the technical and economic feasibility of compliance after such rules, regulations and license conditions have been promulgated but before a final order for their implementation has been issued.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that those affected state agencies, the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House are requested to provide sufficient staff and other resources at the request of the Committee to carry out their task.
Approved July 13, 1990.