North Carolina takes regulatory review online, asks citizens for ideas

Yesterday, North Carolina suspended rulemaking as part of a new directive from the Governors office. The directive suspends all rulemaking unless, “absolutely necessary,” and also announces the launch of a new website where local citizens can submit their ideas for reforming or eliminating existing rules in the state.

The Executive Order establishes the following plan:

  • Direct cabinet secretaries and request council of state members to stop creation of any new rules unless absolutely necessary;
  • Require all new rules proposed by cabinet agencies to be reviewed by the Office of State Budget and Management and justified by the requesting agency; and
  • Solicit input from citizens, community groups, local governments, businesses and state employees on rules and regulations that should be reviewed, eliminated or consolidated.

Every suggestion will be reviewed by officials in North Carolina’s Office of State Budget and Management. Rules selected for further review will be sent to the appropriate state agency and to outside experts who can provide guidance as to if and how the rule could be changed.

The North Carolina idea site adds a new spin on citizen engagement through ideas, prior to this, states that offered an ideas website have asked general questions usually related to programs or budgets. In the introductory message on the website the Governor says that if she can make suggested changes herself she will, otherwise if changes require the approval of the legislature she will request that the change be made through the General Assembly in the following year.

The Governor claims that this review is necessary as many of the rules on North Carolina’s books no longer serve the citizenry effectively. “I am calling on the people of this state who come into contact with state government to talk to me. Tell me what isn’t working for you when you go to a state agency for a permit, or a license, or any other project that falls under state regulation,” said Perdue. “My rule is the ‘plain common sense rule’ – if a regulation is needed, make sure it’s efficient for the user, transparent to the public and has real value for North Carolina citizens.”

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