RD356 - Commonwealth of Virginia Report to the General Assembly on the Regulatory Reduction Pilot Program – August 15, 2021

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.

While both agencies reported that the COVID-19 pandemic affected their ability to meet the second and third-year targets, due to the suspension of regulatory review committee and board meetings, both agencies successfully reduced requirements. Over the three-year review period, the pilot agencies have achieved the following cumulative reductions:

• 2019 - Both pilot agencies exceeded the first-year reduction objective of 7.5 percent.

• 2020 - DPOR achieved the cumulative goal of 15 percent with a reduction of 15.12 percent, primarily through streamlining; DCJS reported a reduction of 12.87 percent, which it also achieved by streamlining

• 2021 – DPOR achieved 26.91 percent, primarily through streamlining, surpassing the 25 percent cumulative goal, while DCJS achieved 14.14 percent.

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.) In addition to DPOR and DCJS, DPB identified 39 additional executive agencies that were required to submit a regulatory catalog. Another 32 agencies were identified that are exempt from the pilot program because they are either executive branch agencies with a statutory exemption from the APA (21), or because they are not executive branch agencies (11).