Wisconsin Supreme Court rules against Superintendent of Public Instruction, affirming the legislature can control how agencies make rules

In Koschkee v. Taylor, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin ruled 4-2 that the DPI must submit new rules to the governor for approval before they go into effect, affirming the state REINS Act, which requires new rules be sent to the governor before they can go into effect. 
 
Governor Tony Evers (D), then the superintendent of public instruction, and the DPI were sued for allegedly violating the state REINS Act. Evers and DPI argued that the state superintendent is a constitutional office in Wisconsin not subject to gubernatorial control under the REINS Act. They also argued that the issue was already settled in the 2016 case Coyne v. Walker, which ruled that a 2011 law did not apply to the state superintendent. Koschkee v. Taylor overruled the Coyne decision and affirmed the constitutional power of the legislature to control how agencies make rules.
 
Signed into law in August 2017 by Governor Scott Walker (R), the REINS Act made changes to the regulatory process in Wisconsin. It requires state agencies to submit statements of scope for proposed regulations to the governor. Governors may then approve or reject an agency’s proposal.
 
Based on a proposed federal law of the same name, the Wisconsin REINS Act also requires legislative authorization of major rules and allows a Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules to indefinitely suspend a proposed rule.
 



About the author

Jace Lington

Jace Lington is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at jace.lington@ballotpedia.org

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