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Maine SOS calls for elimination of numerous regulations

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January 26, 2011

AUGUSTA, Maine: Following weeks of initial review, Secretary of State Charles E. Summers, Jr., the first Republican named to the statewide public position in thirty-five years, "has identified numerous rules and regulations that can be eliminated or repealed."[1] In many cases, he stated, these regulations are bureaucratic oversight over provisions that have since been repealed or duplicate existing statutory requirements.

In addition to this initial review, Summers has also called for each bureau to launch an exhaustive review of all existing and pending rules and has "ordered an immediate moratorium on rulemaking within the bureaus overseen by his office."[1] Although unquestionably well intentioned, this whole process may be easier said then done. More often than not, rolling back obsolete rules can be almost as time-consuming, if not more so, then just simply implementing them. Sometimes both a notice signaling to the public the intent to repeal a rule as well as a statement indicating why such an action must be taken have to be issued. Public hearings and final review by the State Legislative Council will also have to take place before a regulation can be officially repealed, a process that can take up to as much as several weeks.

Summers argues, however, that such actions are necessary. In fact, he plans on making these exhaustive reviews a regular routine of his office's bureaus, as this "will help prevent the continued promulgation of outdated or unneeded regulation."[1]

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