By: Chris Micheli

Overview of Regulatory Advocacy

In today’s post, I will begin a series of podcasts about how to be a more effective state regulatory agency advocate. Today’s podcast will be an overview of state regulatory agency advocacy efforts.

The first questions one might have about regulatory agency advocacy are: “What is it?” and “Is it different from legislative advocacy?” In my mind, there is not a difference between regulatory agency advocacy and legislative advocacy. On the legislative side, you are lobbying for or against legislation and dealing with the Legislature. On the regulatory side, you are lobbying for or against regulations and dealing with the executive branch of government.

The next question one might ask is, why is regulatory agency advocacy important? I like to remind people that just because a statute has been enacted doesn’t mean that the battle is over. Regulatory advocacy is another bite at the apple; it is another opportunity to limit or expand the scope of a statute.

This is no small task. Keep in mind is that there are over 200 agencies, departments, boards, and commissions that have rule-making authority in California state government and, according to California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL), there are over 500 regulations adopted each year. These rule-making bodies engage in both quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative activities, which is how they enforce and create the rules to implement legislation.

I’ll focus on the quasi-legislative activity. California’s rule-making process is governed by the state APA – Administrative Procedure Act. The state’s APA is premised on the federal APA. What do I mean by quasi-legislative activity? I mean that the agency – or department, commission, board, etc. – engages in the rule-making process by adopting, amending, or repealing regulations.

My next podcast on the subject of regulatory agency advocacy will be released after the holidays and will be on the different types of rule-making bodies. Happy Holidays and as always, thanks for listening.