Attorney General Opinion Upholds Major Regulatory Reform

Today’s opinion gives greater certainty to Wisconsin’s regulated industries

MADISON – Attorney General Brad Schimel today released a formal opinion on a major regulatory reform that ended implied agency authority to regulate.

Schimel issued the formal opinion at the request of the state Assembly to clarify 2011 Wisconsin Act 21.

In response to this opinion release, WMC’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Scott Manley, said the following:

“This common sense opinion makes clear that state agencies only have those regulatory powers explicitly delegated to them by the legislature. This is consistent with both the plain language of Act 21 and the Legislature’s clear intent when they passed it.

“Various court cases over the years have greatly expanded agency authority. Act 21 was a direct response to those expansions, and made clear that agencies are limited to only those regulatory powers explicitly delegated to them.

“WMC strongly supported the enactment of Act 21, and has been actively involved in litigation supporting it over the past several years to make certain that agency regulatory actions are in line with the limits of the law. Today’s opinion vindicates those efforts.

“While this opinion was made in the context of High Capacity Well permitting, Act 21’s limitation on implied agency authority applies equally to all state agencies. Regulators, businesses, and the general public will benefit from today’s opinion, which brings clarity to the extent of agency authority in our state.”

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