Idaho Continues to Lead the Nation in Eliminating Government Regulations
September 2nd, 2020
Update from NASL Member Jason Kreizenbeck, Lobby Idaho, LLC:
Last year Idaho underwent a major regulatory overhaul, as Governor Brad Little (R) directed state agencies to reduce over 75% of the state’s administrative code. This led to Idaho surpassing South Dakota as the least regulated state in the country.
Idaho’s historic regulatory cuts were achieved through two Executive Orders that Governor Little issued in his first month as Governor in January 2019, as well as through the rules reauthorization process under which Idaho’s administrative code expires if it is not reauthorized by the Legislature every year. Governor Little’s Red Tape Reduction Act required all state agencies to identify at least two existing rules to be repealed or significantly simplified for every one rule they propose. In addition, Governor Little’s Licensing Freedom Act reduced burdens on Idaho businesses by simplifying or eliminating Idaho’s occupational licensing rules.
The process was so successful that Governor Little signed the Zero-Based Regulation Act early in 2020 to implement a new process where every rule chapter in effect will be reviewed by the agency that promulgated the rule, according to a staggered, five-year schedule. As a result, every year about 20% of the state’s administrative rules will be reviewed. This will help to ensure that Idaho regulations will remain streamlined, user-friendly, and easy to understand moving forward.
Despite the difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last several months, Governor Little has continued to champion the issue. On March 25th he issued an Emergency Declaration and 21-day Statewide Stay-Home Order which among other things, directed agencies to waive over 150 administrative rules to allow the state to more quickly, efficiently and safely respond to the crisis. This helped the state increase the use of telehealth services, made licensing easier, and strengthened the capacity of the healthcare workforce, leading Governor Little to sign a new Executive Order last month that permanently deletes those rules that were waived during the emergency.
Regulations can serve to both hinder and help businesses in different situations. Having a thorough understanding of the rules process can provide a useful benefit to clients who may not know how to navigate the system in your state. At Lobby Idaho, LLC we strive to assist our clients in how to effectively engage in the rules process and respond to their needs. We attend agency rule promulgation hearings, submit suggestions or edits, and conduct a comprehensive analysis on any new rules being developed.
If you are interested in getting involved in Idaho, let us know!