Smart regulatory reform is an achievable goal ― Idaho has shown the way

Daniel Ortner

Government bureaucracies tend to grow and become more bloated and ineffective over time. Sometimes this seems like an inexorable law of nature, like gravity.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Regulatory inertia is not inevitable. Just look at Idaho, which has taken the lead in showing that reducing unnecessary regulation and limiting government power are achievable goals.

While the Trump administration’s regulatory reform effort has led to noteworthy reductions at the federal level — eliminating seven-and-a-half regulations for every new rule — those efforts have been bogged down by litigation. But thankfully, Idaho is charting a course for states on regulatory reform, with positive results.

By 2019, the Idaho administrative code had grown to more than 8,200 pages containing more than 72,000 mandates and divided into an unwieldy 736 chapters of code. But in just a little more than a year, Gov. Brad Little made sweeping changes that ultimately may leave Idaho the least regulated state in the nation.

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