State News : Texas

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According to an article in The Texas Tribune, Governor Greg Abbott’s office will be reviewing all Texas agency rules before they are posted in the Texas Register for public comment. Luis Saenz, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, wrote a letter to the agencies saying, “Prior to publication of a proposed rule in the Texas Register, the Office of the Governor will review the Notice of Proposed Rule as well as the agency’s internal analysis of the rule.”

Governor Abbott claims this approach will “eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies, and provide a dispassionate ‘second opinion” to the proposed agency’s rules.

While the move is intended to promote efficiency, it also significantly expands the power of his office. The process will ensure the involvement of the Governor’s Office in all agency rule-making decisions, including the Texas Department of Insurance and the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Texas agencies have been directed to provide certain information to the Governor—including the draft rule and its expected impact on local employment and the economy—before posting the proposed rule in the Texas Register. The letter does not specify what power the Governor has over those proposed rules. 

For agencies that have statutory or programmatic deadlines for rule promulgation, this mandate will require them to reconsider their timelines, adding extra time to allow for gubernatorial review.

Click the link to read Governor Abbott's letter.

-  Copyright 2018, Stone Loughlin & Swanson, LLP