Amends SAPA in Relation to Emergency Rules (S.5912-B)

Date: 2017

S.5912-B (Jacobs)


Unshackle Upstate, a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up of business and trade organizations from all parts of Upstate New York, supports this legislation.

This bill would amend the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) as it relates to the emergency rule making process by limiting the circumstances in which an agency can adopt a rule under the emergency rule making process. It  would limit the use of the emergency rule making process to situations in which the normal rulemaking process would be too slow because of an imminent and actual threat to public health or safety; would cause the agency to be out of compliance with a federal or state law; would result in the loss of federal funds; or would result in irreparable injury.  The bill also requires that an agency using the emergency rulemaking process to commence the normal rulemaking process within 30 days.

Unshackle Upstate supports this legislation because it will permit greater participation in the rule making process by impacted entities.  We believe that the result will be greater transparency in the rule making process, a better understanding of new regulations and greater regulatory compliance.

The emergency rule making process in New York State is too often used in a capricious and arbitrary manner as a means of avoiding the traditional deliberation and public input components of the normal rule making process. Emergency rulemaking does not allow for potentially affected employers and taxpayers to submit public comment or offer counter proposals, and does not give the public and those impacted the time needed to understand, implement appropriate changes and comply with new state rules, regulations and mandates.

As the sponsor notes, nearly 2/3 of New York State agency rule making proceedings over the past decade have adopted through an emergency rule making process.  Some of these regulations have been reissued dozens of times under the emergency process without ever being subject to the traditional, more transparent rulemaking process. This practice violates the spirit and intent of the law, which is supposed to permit the use of emergency regulations only in cases where the immediate adoption of the rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety or general welfare.   

Unshackle Upstate and its members have long advocated for a more open and transparent regulatory environment in New York State and for the above reasons, Unshackle Upstate supports the enactment of this legislation.