At the Resource Development Council conference in Anchorage on Wednesday, Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy said he is asking Gov. Bill Walker to put a freeze on all new regulations across all departments.
Dunleavy wants his own administration to have a chance to review any regulations before they are promulgated. He takes office on Dec. 3.
In response, the Walker Administration said that it has no plans to implement new regulations that would curtail resource development.
But a review of the regulations in process indicate that there are several regulations being considered that fall under that Dunleavy request. Some of them have to do with marijuana, barbers, or massage therapists.
The state has Medicaid regulations being promulgated that have a fiscal note of $10 million in FY2020.
The Board of Marital and Family Therapy proposes to establish a continuing education course approval fee and continuing education course renewal fee.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has regulations in process dealing with application and contingency plan requirements for non-crude oil tank vessels and barges.
A regulation is proposed to require a licensed marijuana establishment to operate in accordance with “a plan approved by” the Marijuana Control Board.
The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is proposing to increase the minimum bonding amount to more “reflect the costs of abandoning wells by establishing a multi-tiered bonding schedule based on the number of wells an operator has.”
The Alaska State Commission for Human Rights is proposing new regulations to establish categories of service animals and the rules regarding them. The new regulations appear to create a condition where landlords would not be able to prohibit miniature horses or other “service animal” in housing rentals.
In fact, over a dozen proposed regulations are found at the State’s website; they all impact businesses in one fashion or another. Although Dunleavy did not target a specific regulation, he was clear in his remarks:
“This moratorium will allow us to take a closer look at where we are and decide the best course of action moving forward. Our focus will be to reform regulations in a way that frees our citizens and our economy to make progress and grow,” Dunleavy said.
The response from the Walker Administration was noncommittal: According to his spokesperson Austin Baird, Walker “will continue to champion responsible resource development of Alaska’s vast natural resources, from oil and gas to minerals to timber. Because there was never any plan to implement new regulations restricting resource development, the Governor-elect is effectively asking the Walker Administration to continue the work we’ve been doing for the past four years,” Baird wrote in an email.
In other words, Walker will continue to be Walker until noon on Dec. 3, and has no intention of changing course to accommodate the new administration.