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Madison — Today Governor-elect Walker announced the second piece of legislation for the Wisconsin is Open for Business Special Session, which contains an overhaul of Wisconsin’s overall regulatory process. Walker’s proposal will empower the Legislature to explicitly regulate the operations of government bureaucracy and put in place another step before a rule can be implemented. This legislation will also improve the process of legally challenging a rule—making it more likely that citizens will receive fair treatment in a court of law.

In the past, job-killing rules and regulations have been implemented even though they went far beyond specific regulations already outlined in state statute. This was made possible because bureaucrats have been able to draft rules and regulations based on each department’s general duties provision. Under current law, when a broad rule is approved by an agency it has the force of law until the Legislature takes action or it is legally challenged.

Also currently a citizen can only challenge an administrative rule in Dane County Circuit Court.

Walker’s legislation will take a multi-pronged approach to improve Wisconsin’s regulatory climate. First, it will state that an agency may not create rules more restrictive than the regulatory standards or thresholds provided by the Legislature. Second, it will allow rules to be challenged in the county circuit court where the plaintiff resides. Third, this legislation will require the Governor to approve proposed rules. Additional regulatory reforms will be included in the final version of the special session legislation.

Along with the introduction of this legislation, Governor-elect Walker released the following statement:

For too long the overregulation of business has stifled job growth within our state and repelled job creators from others. The common sense reforms contained in our proposal will take the power of regulating away from unelected bureaucrats and put it back where it belongs—in the hands of the people. I believe the Legislature should exclusively have the power to create laws.

I am hopeful that moving forward the bureaucracy will only implement rules and regulations passed by the Legislature and approved by the governor.

Our proposal will also make the process of challenging the rules put in place by state government more fair by allowing regulatory legal disputes to be handled in county circuit courts.

On the first day Governor-elect Walker is in office, he is going to declare a state of economic emergency and call the Legislature into a special session aimed at jumpstarting his plan to ensure Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs by 2015.

Governor-elect Walker will be holding a brief media availability to discuss these regulatory reforms.

When: 3:30pm—Tuesday, December 21

Where: Transition office—3rd floor Risser Justice Center, 17 W. Main Street, Madison