When the state Legislature authorizes a state department to promulgate rules to implement and execute a law, it empowers a group of people who are not accountable to voters to determine what behavior is acceptable and which is not. The fact that these rules can carry criminal sanctions only increases the concern with this practice. This section describes some of the specific ways that legislating via administrative rule empowers state departments and unelected bureaucrats.
Administrative rules are supposed to help in executing the law and protecting the health and safety of Michiganders. If everyone follows these rules, we should all be better off. But the way some rules work is more complicated and suggests that the rules are not actually meant to be universally applied as written. Instead, in some cases, administrative agencies get to decide which rules need to be followed, who has to follow them, when a violation occurs and what penalties will be levied against violators.