A Constitutional and Empirical Analysis of Iowa's Administrative Rules Review Committee Procedure
74 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2012 Last revised: 13 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 11, 2012
Iowa gives a joint legislative committee, called the Administrative Rules Review Committee, significant power over agency rulemaking. The ARRC can delay a rule, either for a 70-day period, or until the end of the next legislative session. It can also object to a rule, which switches the burden of proof to the agency in any future judicial challenge and makes the agency liable for the litigation costs of successful challengers. In this article, the authors study 15 years of committee activity to determine how the ARRC has used its authority and to assess the degree of legislative intrusion on executive administration. The data indicate that the ARRC has used its authority most often against environmental rules and that the impact of the review process extends beyond the formal actions taken by the committee. The article subjects the ARRC procedure to a separation of powers analysis and concludes that the objection and delay authority exceed the permissible boundaries of legislative power.
Keywords: separation of powers, legislative veto, administrative rulemaking
JEL Classification: K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation