Regulatory Reform Commission Publishes 2016 Report
Hogan Administration Moves to Implement All 187 Recommendations
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Regulatory Reform Commission established by Governor Larry Hogan and tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of Maryland’s regulatory climate today issued its 2016 report, which identifies nearly 200 individual regulations to be streamlined or eliminated. In response, Governor Hogan announced that the administration will move forward with the implementation of all 187 recommendations.
Restructuring and reforming state government is a top priority of the Hogan-Rutherford administration. Upon taking office in January 2015, Governor Hogan immediately halted over 100 job-killing regulations that had been proposed by the previous administration, and he later rescinded 72 obsolete executive orders. Earlier this year, the governor established the Office of Transformation and Renewal, a multi-year effort to optimize government departments and agencies within the executive branch, and eliminated a regulatory mandate requiring BAT septic systems for buildings outside of critical areas, ensuring that environmental safeguards remain in place while reducing an unnecessary burden on homeowners and small businesses.
“From day one, our administration has been committed to common sense reforms to roll back unnecessary impediments to living, working, and doing business in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “We have already made major progress by cutting over 250 fees and reducing tolls across the state. Today, we add reforming or eliminating almost 200 regulations to the list of ways we are right-sizing state government on behalf of Maryland employers and taxpayers.”
“This is the most wide-ranging review of state regulations Maryland has undertaken in decades, and the commission’s efforts exposed dozens and dozens of onerous, outdated, and redundant regulations that make government less efficient and effective,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford, who serves as an ex officio member of the commission. “The reforms in this report will improve our business climate, protect consumers, and benefit our environment, and I applaud the commission for their detailed and diligent work.”
The commission’s workgroups evaluated regulations based on four sets of criteria: whether the regulation can be streamlined or clarified, modernized, stripped of obsolete references, or made to conform with state or federal statutory requirements. Agencies that participated in the review will file updated regulatory language with AELR in the coming weeks.
Click here to read the full report. Key reforms in each category include:
Streamlining and Clarifying Revisions
- The Motor Vehicle Administration is revising the regulatory requirements for vehicle dealerships and salesmen. These changes will update and modernize the regulatory language (for instance, allowing for electronic retention and submission of records), remove outdated or irrelevant references and add flexibility to the licensing period.
- To alleviate collateral consequences, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is repealing the requirement for an applicant for a license to operate a cemetery to provide the Office of Cemetery Oversight with information regarding if the applicant was “convicted of any drug offense committed after January 1, 1991,” and the Maryland Department of Transportation will limit barriers to obtaining towing or road service permits only to felony or misdemeanor convictions directly related to towing, road service, storage of vehicles, and DWI/DUI.
Modernization and Electronic Submissions
- To improve customer service, the Maryland Department of the Environment and Maryland Department of Transportation will be amending regulations regarding the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) to expand the use of emerging technologies and provide opportunities to enact driver-friendly improvements.
- The licensing regulations for various provider types overseen by the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) will be amended to allow for the electronic submission of both initial and renewal license application, which will save providers the costs and delays that result from being required to submit paper applications via mail or facsimile.
Removing Obsolete References
- The Real Estate Commission under the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation will eliminate a list of distance learning methods (compact disc, computer, disk, etc.) and cross references methods named in statute as well as any method approved by the Maryland Real Estate Commission.
State or Federal Statutory Requirements
- The Maryland Insurance Administration will be updating the scope of the filing requirements regulation to include Administration review of a carrier’s failure to act in good faith in the handling of an individual disability claim based on the 2016 passage of House Bill 990.
Governor Hogan signed an executive order establishing the Regulatory Reform Commission in July 2015. The commission includes ten members appointed by the governor with a range of experience in various sectors representing regions across the state. The governor’s executive order remains in effect for a 3-year period, and requires the commission to submit an annual report to the governor no later than December 1 of each year. For more information, please visit http://governor.maryland.gov/ltgovernor/home/regulatory-reform.