HJR 2 Constitutional Amendment Information:
Some years back the power of the legislature to accept or reject proposed agency rules was challenged as a usurpation of executive power.
The conclusion of the Idaho Supreme Court, on a 3 to 2 decision, simply stated, was that since the agency rules had the power of law, and were to be implemented in furtherance of Idaho statutes, such a practice did not infringe on executive power and was within the power of the legislature.
Rules are generally necessary to carry out legislative mandates (through passage of various laws). An important benefit to having legislative oversight is that Idaho citizens are able to provide their own testimony on the proposed rules before the legislature votes to either approve or reject them. This gives citizens a chance to tell their representatives whether the rules are workable and beneficial, or whether they are unnecessary or impractical.
The proposed constitutional amendment does not expand legislative power. On its part, the legislature wants to assure that the rules are within the boundaries envisioned by the legislature and are in furtherance of its purpose and intent in having passed the particular statute to which the agency rule applied.
Presently, with the exception of a rule creating or modifying a fee, when either house approves a rule, it becomes effective. If the rule affects a fee being charged by the agency, both houses must approve the rule. Under the proposed constitutional amendment, this would not change unless the legislature acts to have more stringent oversight of general rules.