States are finding success at reducing red tape

James Broughel’s recent Wall Street Journal column looks at major regulatory reforms going on in other states.

Ohio just enacted regulatory budgeting. First, state agencies must develop an inventory of their regulatory restrictions. Then for at least the next four years, agencies cannot add a new restriction without sacrificing two old restrictions. This provision means that over time the state’s total stock of regulatory restrictions will decrease.

Virginia also passed a requirement in 2018 that agencies in the commonwealth develop an inventory of their regulatory restrictions. Also, Broughel writes, Virginia “even required a 25% cut at agencies involved in occupational licensing and criminal justice.”

Rhode Island successfully implemented sunset and review of its entire administrative code at the end of 2018. This process “forc[ed] agencies to review all existing rules and refile those they wanted to keep,” Broughel writes. The end result is, “The state eliminated 31% of its rule volume in the process.”

Idaho’s regulatory sunset and review this year also resulted in a significant slimming of the state code. Broughel writes, “Idaho allowed its entire regulatory code to sunset on July 1. Gov. Brad Little?s administration issued a new, streamlined code to replace it, eliminating 20% of its chapters in the process.”

My recent research brief offers North Carolina policymakers “Some Ways for a Light, Lean, Sensible Regulatory Climate.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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