Washington State Suspension of Agency Rulemaking May Not Affect Proposed GHG Rules


Washington Governor Christine Gregoire issued an Executive Order (PDF) on November 17 suspending until December 31, 2011, state agencies' development and adoption of all "non-critical" regulations. The order is premised on providing a "stable and predictable regulatory and policy environment," but it's not at all clear what will constitute "non-critical" rules. Two proposed greenhouse gas emissions rules slated for adoption in December 2010 may not be affected because of exemptions described in an implementation memorandum.

The Governor's order refers to unprecedented economic times, which certainly is the case with the state's budget. Legislators are facing an anticipated $4.8-billion budget shortfall in the next two years, which they will have to close through cuts only since voters turned down tax increase measures in the last election. And this is in addition to a $9-billion gap in the last budget, which was balanced through $4-billion in cuts and $5-billion in one-time fixes.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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