IDAHO’S NEW “BUDGET” FOR RED TAPE

Hitting the ground running, Governor Little recently signed two executive orders taking aim at unnecessary regulations affecting Idahoans. His actions are part of a growing trend, as states and even the federal government create innovative “budgets” for red tape. Other states should take notice of Idaho’s leadership.

One executive order states that prior to proposing new regulations, a state agency must identify two older regulations to simplify or get rid of (or explain why this isn’t possible). This process targets the more than 8,200 pages in the Idaho Administrative Code, which contains a whopping 72,000 restrictions, according to the Little administration. This is actually less red tape than most states have, but it’s still more regulation than any person or small business can reasonably keep track of.

In effect, the new order creates a budget for Idaho rule makers. We all know that the government has a fiscal budget. Legislators appropriate funds to agencies, placing a limit on how much taxpayer money each can spend. But until now, there’ve been few constraints on how much of the people’s money regulators can “spend” off-budget.

Regulatory spending takes the form of lost time, money, and accounting and legal fees—to say nothing of piles of paperwork—for people and businesses as they comply with rules. Without a budget, regulators have virtual carte blanche authority to impose nearly limitless costs on the public.

Read more of this Coeur D’Alene/Post Falls Press article by James Broughel by clicking here.