INDEPENDENT REGULATORY REVIEW COMMISSION
Notice of Comments Issued
[44 Pa.B. 6172]
[Saturday, September 27, 2014]
Section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(g)) provides that the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (Commission) may issue comments within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The Commission comments are based upon the criteria contained in section 5.2 of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5b).
The Commission has issued comments on the following proposed regulations. The agencies must consider these comments in preparing the final-form regulation. The final-form regulation must be submitted within 2 years of the close of the public comment period or it will be deemed withdrawn.
Close of the Public IRRC Comments Reg. No. Agency/Title Comment Period Issued #6-329 State Board of Education
44 Pa.B. 4514 (July 19, 2014)
08/18/14 09/17/14 #18-460 Department of Transportation
Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic
44 Pa.B. 4500 (July 19, 2014)
State Board of Education
Regulation #6-329 (IRRC #3064)
September 17, 2014
We submit for your consideration the following comments on the proposed rulemaking published in the July 19, 2014 Pennsylvania Bulletin. Our comments are based on criteria in Section 5.2 of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5b). Section 5.1(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(a)) directs the State Board of Education (Board) to respond to all comments received from us or any other source.
Whether the regulation is consistent with the intent of the General Assembly.
Act 141 of 2012 (Act) added Article VI-A to the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §§ 6-601 et. seq.). Article VI-A provides for financial recovery in certain school districts. Section 621-A(a)(2)(i) of the Act (24 P. S. § 6-621-A(a)(2)(i)) directs the Board to promulgate regulations establishing additional criteria which the secretary may consider in determining whether to issue a declaration that a school district is in financial recovery status and whether a financial recovery school district is deemed to be in either moderate or severe recovery status.
Section 621-A(a)(2)(i) of the Act includes 15 criteria the Secretary of Education (Secretary) may consider in determining whether to issue a declaration that a school district is in financial recovery status. This rulemaking repeats the 15 criteria from the Act and adds three additional criteria. Two of the criteria (§§ 18.5(a)(7) and (8)) are being added because they are conceptually congruent with Section 621-A(a)(2)(i)(F) of the Act (24 P. S. § 6-621-A(a)(2)(i)(F)), which is reflected in § 18.5(a)(6) of the rulemaking. Sections 18.5(a)(6), (7) and (8) direct the Secretary to consider whether a school district is subject to withholding of certain State appropriations.
The third criterion being added by the Board is found at § 18.5(a)(17). It reads as follows: ''The school district experiences a deficit of 3% or more for 3 consecutive school years resulting in a reduction of unassigned fund balance each year.'' This criterion is being promulgated to reflect the fact that the Board recognizes that there are circumstances when deficit spending may be appropriate.
In determining whether a regulation is in the public interest, Section 5.2(a) of the Regulatory Review Act directs this Commission, first and foremost, to consider whether the agency has the statutory authority to prom- ulgate the regulation and whether the regulation conforms to the intention of the General Assembly in the enactment of the statute upon which the regulation is based. (71 P. S. § 745.5b(a)). We question whether the addition of the three regulatory criteria developed by the Board to the 15 statutory criteria of the Act is consistent with the intent of the General Assembly and Section 621-A(a)(2)(i) of the Act which directs the Board to promulgate regulations ''establishing additional criteria which the Secretary may consider in determining whether to issue a declaration that a school district is in financial recovery status.'' (Emphasis added.) Did the Board consult with the General Assembly to determine if the three additional criteria satisfy the mandate of the Act?
Department of Transportation
Regulation #18-460 (IRRC #3065)
Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Speed-Timing Devices
September 17, 2014
We submit for your consideration the following comments on the proposed rulemaking published in the July 19, 2014 Pennsylvania Bulletin. Our comments are based on criteria in Section 5.2 of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5b). Section 5.1(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a (a)) directs the Department of Transportation (Department) to respond to all comments received from us or any other source.
1. § 105.31 Appointment of speedometer testing station. Clarity.
Under subsection (b) the Department is requiring ''each applicant intending to be appointed as a speedometer testing station that is not a business entity, including a sole proprietor or partner in a general or limited partnership,'' to be at least 18 years of age. We ask the Department to explain in the final rulemaking why this subsection does not include applicants for mobile testing units to be operated by a speedometer testing station since they must file a separate application.
2. § 105.34 Manner of testing speedometers. Clarity; Reasonableness; and Economic Impact
Subsection (a) Accuracy.
This section requires speedometers to be tested for accuracy and if necessary, be repaired and adjusted to obtain the greatest possible degree of accuracy. The Department is proposing to add a numerical degree of accuracy of plus or minus 2 miles per hour (mph) to the manner of testing speedometers. A commentator has raised a concern that the plus/minus 2 mph window may prevent speedometer testing stations from certifying police department vehicles as some vehicles may be off 3 mph or more. Currently, testing stations certify actual speeds for the vehicles. We ask the Department to explain in the final rulemaking the need for the proposed change and the potential economic impact for local governments and state law enforcement if a vehicle cannot meet this new accuracy specification.
Subsection (b) Forms.
This subsection requires that Certificates of Accuracy be made available for review by the Pennsylvania State Police Inspection Station Supervisor. Comments received from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) note that the position of Inspection Station Supervisor no longer exists. The PSP recommends that the Department refer to the State Police without any further specification of job function within the PSP. We agree with this request made by the PSP and suggest the Department amend the final-form regulation accordingly.
Additionally, the Department is permitting certificates of accuracy to be ''reproduced and a duplicate copy, executed and signed in the same manner as the original,'' and to have the same force and effect as the original. While similar language appears in the existing regulation, one commentator has expressed confusion with the phrase ''executed and signed in the same manner as the original'' and questioned how such a document would differ from another original document. We recommend the Department clarify the intent of this requirement in the final-form regulation.
The same commentator has asked the Department to consider alternative methods for issuing certificates. The commentator suggests the Department allow the use of electronic signatures with a corporate seal or watermark on the certificates. He asserts that this option would not only save on testing stations' mailing costs, but also allow local police departments and state law enforcement to access and print certificates as needed. We recommend that the Department consider including this option in the final-form regulation, or explain why such a provision would not be in the public interest.
• In Regulatory Analysis Form (RAF) Question #29 we request the Department revise the following: the expected date of promulgation of the proposed regulation as a final-form regulation; and date by which the agency must receive public comments.
• Under § 105.31(c) we suggest the Department include the word ''as'' before the word ''an'' in the following phrase ''or to operate an approved mobile testing unit.''
• Under § 105.32(b) we recommend to the Department to insert the term ''legal'' before ''holidays.''
• Under § 105.33(a)(3) we suggest replacing the term ''devise'' with ''device.''
JOHN F. MIZNER, Esq.,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 14-2030. Filed for public inspection September 26, 2014, 9:00 a.m.]
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