The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Policy Research Shop Testimony: May 3, 2012

PRS students Travis Blalock ’12 and Stephen Prager ’14 testify before the NH House of Representatives’ Committee to Study the Rulemaking Authority of State Agencies

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PRS Students Testify Before NH House of Representatives’ Committee to Study the Rulemaking Authority of State Agencies to Establish Fees

On Thursday, May 3, 2012, two PRS students, Travis Blalock ’12 and Stephen Prager ’14, from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center Policy Research Shop, traveled to Concord to testify before the NH House of Representatives’ Committee to Study the Rulemaking Authority of State Agencies to Establish Fees. The team presented their work identifying, recording, and cross-referencing every fee and fine charged by the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) in the NH Administrative Rules, as well as a comparative study of the advantages and disadvantages of different fee-setting systems.

In addition to locating 152 sections of DES Administrative Rules that include fees and/or fines, the team found that states that have employed statutory fee-setting authority exclusively have experienced more than twice the variance between amount charged and the actual cost of a government service, on average, compared to states that include executive agencies in the fee-setting process. After the presentation the students responded to questions and comments from Chairperson Carol McGuire and members of the committee, and engaged in a thoughtful discussion of policy options, costs, and benefits with the committee and senior staff from the DES, including DES Commissioner Tom Burack (’82), who attended the session.

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