RD394 - Progress Report on the Regulatory Reduction Pilot Program – October 1, 2020

Executive Summary:

Chapters 444 and 445 of the 2018 Acts of Assembly create a regulatory reduction pilot program to be administered by the Department of Planning and Budget (DPB), under the direction of the Secretary of Finance. The pilot program focuses on two pilot agencies, the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), and the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). Each pilot agency was directed to submit a “regulatory catalog" listing each regulatory requirement, and then to reduce these requirements by 25 percent over a three-year period ending July 1, 2021.

Although both pilot agencies exceeded the first-year reduction objective of 7.5 percent, only DPOR achieved the cumulative goal of 15 percent by July 1, 2020. Both agencies reported that the COVID-19 pandemic affected their ability to meet the second-year target, due to the suspension of regulatory review committee and board meetings. DCJS reported a reduction of 12.87 percent, which it achieved primarily by streamlining the application process. The regulatory boards supported by DPOR reported an overall reduction of 15.12 percent, which they primarily achieved by streamlining existing requirements. DPOR reflects the most common form of regulatory activity in Virginia, in which regulations are promulgated by regulatory boards and the agencies primarily provide staff support.

The remaining executive branch agencies subject to the Virginia Administrative Process Act (APA) were required to submit a regulatory catalog by July 1, 2020. In Virginia, regulations are developed in accordance with the APA. In some cases, however, a regulation may be promulgated without adhering to the APA because a statutory exemption applies. Overall, about half of all regulations promulgated in the last 15 years have been exempt from the APA and executive branch review. DPB identified 40 additional executive agencies that were required to submit a regulatory catalog, plus another 31 agencies that are exempt from the pilot program because they have a statutory exemption from the APA.