LETTER: WGA shares menu of reforms in response to Executive Order, 'Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda'

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May 15, 2017

Justin Clark
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. Clark:

President Trump’s Executive Order 13777 (E.O.), Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, requires that federal agencies seek input and assistance from states.  Western Governors appreciate this requirement and commend to your attention WGA Policy Resolution 2017-01, Building a Stronger State-Federal Relationship, as a good starting point for reform of federal regulatory processes.

Western Governors believe that one of the most important and durable reforms the President could undertake is to work with them to realign the relationship of the federal government and states so that it operates as a true partnership.  Such realignment could be significantly advanced by a serious effort to redefine state-federal consultation coupled with agency accountability for engagement in that process.

Pursuant to Western Governors’ definition of true consultation:

Each Executive department and agency should be required to have a clear and accountable process to provide each state – through its Governor as the top elected official of the state and other representatives of state and local governments as he or she may designate – with early, meaningful and substantive input in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.  This includes the development, prioritization and implementation of federal environmental statutes, policies, rules, programs, reviews, budgets and strategic planning.

WGA has prepared the attached agency-by-agency menu of reforms for consideration by the White House and various departmental Regulatory Reform Task Forces.  These options are informed by Governors’ past interactions with federal agencies.  We believe they can be useful in initiating realignment of the state-federal relationship, an objective that is consistent with the purposes of the President’s E.O.

Western Governors are excited to work in authentic partnership with the federal government.  Governors are optimistic that the new Administration will be eager to unleash the power and creativity of states for the common advantage of our country.  By working cooperatively with the states, the Administration can create a legacy of renewed federalism, resulting in a nation that is stronger, more resilient and more united.

We hope this menu of reforms will be a useful resource to the various Regulatory Reform Task Forces.  The Western Governors’ Association is prepared to help coordinate the participation of Western Governors in this very important effort.


James Ogsbury
Executive Director
Western Governors' Association

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