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Who's Minding Which Store? Institutional and Other Actors' Influence on Administrative Rulemaking in State Agencies, 1978-2004

Author: CHERYL M. MILLER and DEIL S. WRIGHT
Published in PAQ, Vol. 33 No. 3

This paper analyzes and contrasts gubernatorial and state legislative influence on agency rules/ regulations over time. The research analyzes and contrasts the influence of governors and state legislators, the two primary institutional oversight actors, with state courts, clientele groups, and professional associations over time. Utilizing data from American State Administrators Project (ASAP) surveys administered in the 1978 to 2004 time-period, we describe and assess the level and pattern of influence these policy actors have in this central administrative function. The findings highlight a remarkable stability in the extent and patterns of influence these actors have on agency rules and regulations. They suggest that governors may have more of an oversight role in this area than is commonly credited to them; they are perceived as having about the same influence level as state legislators. The remainder of the paper considers the impact of gubernatorial and legislative control, agency size, agency head tenure, and agency type on the influence of both institutional and non-institutional actors on administrative rulemaking. Our most prominent finding is that access is very much a function of the type of agency in question. Governors and clientele groups appear to be the most prominent and extensive in affecting the arc of the ―door‖ through which agency rules are emitted. A similar but less extensive influence configuration by agency type manifests for professional associations as appears for clientele group influence. State legislative and state court influence are least prominent in the agency type findings.

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