President Obama and Senate leader Darryl Steinberg have each floated reform of
the government regulatory process as key elements of economic recovery. They’re
right. But for California now comes the hard part: putting meat on the bones of
an important but flexible political talking point.

The good news for policy makers is that the state’s
Little Hoover Commission, a bipartisan citizen panel appointed by the Governor
and legislative leaders (and to which I was recently given the honor of a
reappointment), is in the midst of a comprehensive study on how the
state can improve its regulation approval process. Spurred by a bipartisan
request from Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes and Senator Bob Dutton, the Commission
is examining, in its words, an:

study process (to) assess the role of economic analysis, including the use and
limits of cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness tests.  The
Commission will examine regulatory reform efforts in other governments – at the
city, state and federal level – to learn about ways that California’s
regulatory development and review process can be made more efficient, more
effective and more transparent.

Thursday morning, January 27, the Commission will convene the second of two
public hearings on this subject; it will probably be telecast (or webcast) on
the California
. Tune in for some provocative testimony on how to improve
transparency and effectiveness of our regulatory process, and weigh
with your ideas to improve the process – no matter whether
supporter or skeptic of California’s regulatory machine.