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Idaho’s Spring Cleaning for Regulations an Idea Worth Replicating

Imagine if government rules had an expiration date.

What if, each decade, every state law, regulation, or administrative rule ended by default unless lawmakers took specific action to keep it on the books?

Idaho just did that — but not on purpose.

The Idaho Legislature’s inaction in April allowed more than 8,000 pages of administrative rules to expire.

Tensions were high as the Legislature concluded its business, and animosity between the House and Senate led to the demise of multiple consequential bills. One of those bills was the “drop dead” bill, the nickname for the bill reauthorizing the rules.

Idaho is the only state where the legislature must affirmatively reauthorize all administrative rules every year. At the conclusion of the legislative session each year, both chambers have quietly passed the drop-dead bill.

For years, it has been common consensus that if the thousands of pages of rules were set to expire at 11:59 p.m. June 30, as the statute outlines, the state might devolve into a state of anarchy.

But the Legislature didn’t pass that bill this year, and it doesn’t look like anarchy is around the corner.

Gov. Brad Little and his staff took the initiative to identify many of the rules that should automatically face the chopping block.

All the rest were to go through the public process as new temporary rules, giving anyone the opportunity to participate in a 21-day public comment period.

Executive branch agencies were required to open their doors to the public and listen to their comments and concerns about any state rule. The legislature will review each rule to decide whether to re-approve it come January.

This process works directly in tandem with the Republican governor’s push to reduce government meddling. Little’s executive order early this year—dubbed the Red Tape Reduction Act—directed agencies to cut two regulations for every new one implemented.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal


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