EDITORIAL: Regulation writing

The noisy, headline-generating work of the Nevada Legislature is done. Which means the quieter, low-profile work of state regulatory bodies is about to begin.

For the groups that fought for and won major reforms during the 2015 Legislature, the details aren’t settled. The writing of regulations is every bit as important as the language of the enabling legislation. Government agencies and boards need specific rules to make the changes the Legislature ordered.

Take Uber. The smartphone-based ride-sharing service, which was run out of the state last year by the Nevada Transportation Authority, now will be regulated by the same body. The authority will meet Thursday to start the process of licensing such transportation network companies and vetting their contracted drivers. When the popular services can launch will depend on how quickly and thoroughly the authority can sort out oversight of a new industry.

Take education. Opportunity Scholarships and Education Savings Accounts, groundbreaking school choice initiatives passed by lawmakers, will need layers of checks to make sure funds for educational expenses only go to eligible families and only toward eligible costs. The Nevada Department of Education and the State Board of Education have a lot to do.

These are only a few examples of the additional layer of work that goes into making new laws stand up. Regulators must honor the intent of the Legislature and avoid making things more difficult than necessary, and they must must take every step possible to provide the public with transparency. Taxpayers should know how those rules work and what results from them.

Reporting requirements are a must. That’s how the public holds government accountable.

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