Idaho: Making Things Better

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

News from Idaho:

Something rather remarkable just happened in Idaho. The state legislature opted to—in essence—repeal the entire state regulatory code. The cause may have been dysfunction across legislative chambers, but the result is serendipitous. A new governor is presented with an unprecedented opportunity to repeal an outdated and burdensome regulatory code and replace it with a more streamlined and sensible set of rules. Other states should be paying close attention.

The situation came about due to the somewhat unconventional nature of Idaho’s regulatory process. Each year, the state’s entire existing body of regulations expires unless reauthorized for an additional year by the legislature. In most years, reauthorization happens smoothly, but not this year.

Instead, the legislature wrapped up an acrimonious session in April without passing a rule-reauthorization bill. As a result, come July 1, some 8,200 pages of regulations containing 736 chapters of state rules will expire. Any rules the governor opts to keep will have to be implemented as emergency regulations, and the legislature will consider them anew when it returns next January.

Governor Brad Little, sworn into office in January, already had a nascent red tape cutting effort underway, but the impending regulatory cliff creates some new dynamics. Previously, each rule the governor wanted cut would have had to be justified as a new rulemaking action; now, every regulation that agencies want to keep has to be justified. The burden of proof has switched.

The new scenario creates multiple touch points when rules could end up on the cutting room floor. First, when regulations expire on July 1, many will not be refiled. Second, the public will have the opportunity to comment on regulations that are resubmitted. In some cases, public hearings are likely to take place, presenting another opportunity to reshape, and cut, some regulations. Finally, when the legislature returns next year, it will need to pass a reauthorization bill for those regulations Governor Little’s administration wants kept. Even more red tape can be trimmed then.

Good idea.  Throw everything away and start over.  I’m sure the pit vipers sitting in the capital will find a way to foist unnecessary regulations on their constituency, as they always do.  But in this case at least there’s a chance of turning these back.

Now, if we could just convince the other 49 states to do the same thing.  And if libertarians and conservatives just cared enough to get involved in the process.


Comments

  1. On May 13, 2019 at 7:48 am, Fred said:

    Government regulation Jubilee? Yes, Yes, Yes, a thousand times, Yes! But why “modernize” or “streamline” while making a new set of rules? Why not Freedom, why not liberty, why not property, why not God and the Dominion of His pinnacle creation? Why not leaders of tens and hundreds and thousands selected by Natural Law, that is, the ones the people follow naturally without need of ‘elections’ and ‘funds’? Simply and immediately kill transgressors under two or three witnesses and all major crime stops, full stop. All minor crime to be personal, paid as debt or servitude as required for the debt, why not? Why won’t America believe God instead of governments of men?

  2. On May 13, 2019 at 9:13 am, Frank Clarke said:

    “And if libertarians and conservatives just cared enough to get involved in the process.”

    Low blow. Libertarians can only “get involved in the process” from the sidelines, cheering and booing, because “I don’t want to waste my vote on somebody who can’t win”.

    There ARE such things as ‘self-fulfilling prophecies’.

  3. On May 13, 2019 at 11:23 am, Badger said:

    Kinda thought that if a bicameral legislature was to be, Heinlein’s rendition of it (from “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”) would be better. First body’s job is to pass laws if needed. Need must be so compelling that any so passed require a 2/3 majority, every time, no exceptions; otherwise dead. 2nd body’s sole job is to REPEAL laws; it is like the Qual Control department and if even 1/3 find the thing stupid on its face, it’s gone, turfed, kicked to the curb. Always thought that would save a few trees.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Politics and was published May 12th, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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