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Midwestern Legislative Conference Passes Resolution to Support Voluntary Standards


New York, Oct 09, 2006

Acknowledging the benefits that come from the use of voluntary consensus standards, the Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC), a regional association of state legislators, recently passed a resolution to form a cross-sector group to study instances where voluntary standards are incorporated into state rules, laws, and statutes.

The resolution was taken in an effort to resolve conflicts between regulations and nationally and internationally accepted standards, and to support cross-border trade, particularly between the United States and Canada.

The MLC is represented by legislators in the eleven Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan are affiliate members of the MLC.

In particular, the resolution requests the National Executive Committee of the Council of State Governments to establish a working group, including representatives from ANSI, the Canadian Standards Association and other partners, to:

  • research the methods by which state and provincial governments recognize and incorporate standards developed by private standards development organizations into statutes, rules and procurement documents;

  • identify which offices of the Executive Branch monitor or influence the incorporation of standards into rules and procurement documents;

  • determine if public employees who participate in private standards making activities are properly trained to recognize potential abuses that will affect the standard thereafter incorporated into statute, rule or procurement documents; and

  • include in its research, other matters as may arise from findings resulting from the efforts of the working group.

The MLC has also submitted a recommendation to the Council of State Governments that the resolution be adopted at the national level.

The resolution stemmed from a series of discussions between the MLC and the American National Standards Institute in August 2006. The Institute has announced its intention to help garner support for the resolution at the national level.

By December 2007, the working group will issue a report outlining its recommendations. The full text of the resolution can be found on the CGS Midwest website.

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