Senate Republicans managed to pass (by a 26-23 vote) SB 6396, a bill that seeks to establish a check and balance system on agency rulemaking activity. The bill would prohibit state agencies from arbitrarily adopting or amending rules without first requesting the Attorney General to review their constitutionality and legality.
Realizing that unelected bureaucrats should not have the power to put in place sweeping regulations that negatively impact the lives of Washingtonians, the bill would also “set a one-year expiration date on agency rules unless the Legislature passes legislation to extend the rule.” If lawmakers choose not to act on the rule and allow it to expire, state agencies “would be barred from adopting the rule again unless expressly authorized by statute.”
Democrats, of course, are against the deregulation measure. During debate on the bill, Democrats used weak excuses to justify their pro-big government stance. These excuses included an argument that deference should be given to state agencies to establish regulations since they had so many “experts” making the decisions.
Democrat Senator Cyrus Habib (who is running for Lieutenant Governor) made the most hysterical (and false) argument against the bill in an attempt to get some attention for his campaign. Habib stated via Twitter, “the type of deregulation that Senate R’s just passed is what led to the #FlintWaterCrisis.”
It’s an argument that relies on a ridiculous, nonsensical emotional appeal that is far from factual. Via the Washington Policy Center,
“WPC Government Reform Director Jason Mercier promptly noted in response that what happened in Flint was not the result of water protection rules that were repealed by the Michigan Legislature. And WPC Environmental Director Todd Myers explained what happened in Flint was not a problem of deregulation, it was a failure of oversight, as evidenced by the fact the regional director of the Environmental Protection Agency, along with three other government officials, resigned over the controversy.”
Sen. Habib, your hyper-partisan and non-factual ideology is on display. Is this what you hope to bring to the Lt. Governor’s office?