Making Effective Regulatory Agency Presentations

Today we are continuing my series on how to be a more effective regulatory advocate. Today’s podcast is about making effective regulatory agency presentations and other avenues an advocate can utilize to influence rulemaking bodies.

There are a few basics to making effective regulatory agency presentations. Those are: being honest, staying on point within any specified time limits, and ensuring that your presentation engages the rulemaking audience. But keep in mind that these presentations are just one component of successful regulatory agency advocacy.

It is also important to be aware of the different avenues that an advocate can take to influence rulemaking. The Governor can influence state agencies. So too can the other two branches of government – California Legislature and the courts. Additionally the private sector can influence rulemaking bodies.

The Governor can exert considerable influence over state agencies through the state budget. Another pressure point, in the case of line authority agencies, is that the Governor appoints the agency secretary, undersecretary, department directors, and the deputy directors. The Governor, and his or her staff, can also use personal persuasion, and utilize positive or negative publicity.

How can the California Legislature influence rulemaking bodies? When conferring the power or authority to regulate through statute, that statute can grant a very broad scope of authority or a very narrow scope of authority to the rulemaking body. The California Legislature can also use the budget process to influence state agencies. It can do so through supplementing, diminishing, or eliminating funding for a particular department or agency. The Legislature can also adopt budget control language – BCL for short – that specifically directs state agency activities.

Members of the private sector can utilize either of these avenues – the Governor and the California legislature – to influence rulemaking, as well as engaging in the opportunities to submit public comment afforded to them by California’s APA. If an interested party is unhappy with a given regulatory action, then they can initiate litigation and utilize the courts to challenge an agency’s rulemaking action, and they might even resort to media or grassroots activity as well.