Wisconsin Project on Governance and Regulation

Examining Regulatory Reform in the Law School Classroom

Background on the Seminar

In fall 2005, David M. Trubek and Louise G. Trubek taught a seminar entitled Regulatory Reform. The seminar explored new approaches to regulation and their implications for law, policy, and public administration. The new governance movement has led to regulatory reform in the United States and elsewhere. In the U.S, there have been experiments with various new governance techniques at both the federal and state levels. The seminar examined selected reform experiences in Wisconsin. It included workshops on regulatory reform in the state. Seminar sessions were divided between presentation of background materials, class discussions of reforms, and workshop presentations.

Course Syllabus

The Workshops

Three workshops were held in Fall, 2005. Each of the workshops brought together students with public officials, lawyers, and business leaders to explore regulatory reform in environmental protection, occupational health and safety, and health care delivery.

OSHA Workshop
Green Tier Workshop
Health Care Workshop - Health Data / Medicaid Waivers

  1. OSHA Reform workshop, November 21, 2005

    Occupational safety and health is governed by the OSHA act of 1970. This workshop discussed OSHA Partnerships. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, administers the act. In some states the OSHA responsibilities are administered by the state. In Wisconsin, federal OSHA administers the program with the assistance of a state consultation service. One of OSHA's basic strategies is partnerships with business. Wisconsin is currently using this strategy in several major workplaces and building sites. The project analyzed and described these partnerships and their interrelationship with the traditional enforcement strategy.

    Workshop Participants:

  2. Green Tier workshop, November 28, 2005

    The Green Tier workshop involved the Green Tier legislation adopted in 2004 by Wisconsin Statute sections 299.83 and 299.85. The Department of Natural Resources that administers the legislation, states "Green Tier provides performance based environmental management. It provides incentives to unregulated entities, 'businesses and communities', to move beyond environmental compliance, address unregulated problems and restore natural resources. It enhances cooperation with communities and industries and provides an improved legal standing for this cooperation." The student project explored and analyzed one aspect of Green Tier: charters. Currently there are three charters that have applied for Green Tier status. These Green Tier charters are groups of companies or public sector entities that join together with state agencies to pursue common goals that may not be achievable under the current regulatory system. Charters provide opportunities for a business sector or a geographic association to join together in establishing and reaching collective environmental goals.

    Workshop Participants:

  3. Health Care Workshop - Health Care Data / Medicaid Waivers, December 5, 2005

    This workshop discussed new approaches to regulation in health care. The first is the decision to delegate responsibility for collection and dissemination of some health care data to the Wisconsin Hospital Association. The Department of Administration and the Wisconsin Hospital Association negotiated this contract. Students described and analyzed what has occurred in collection and dissemination of data. Issues relating to provision of uncompensated care by hospitals, public dissemination of physician and hospital data, and availability of the data by researchers is part of the analysis.

    The second innovation is experimentation with health care coverage for low-income people provided through Medicaid. This program is administered through state and federal interaction. The federal government provides a substantial amount of the funding and substantial regulatory oversight. Over the past decade Medicaid has emerged as an innovative and experimental service. There is substantial variation among states in the number of people covered, types of services covered, and the quality of the care. The student paper explores the waiver procedure now being implemented by the federal government to encourage state-by-state experimentation.

    Health Care Data Workshop Participants:

    Medicaid Waivers Workshop Participants:

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