State Politics

Gov. Little takes first steps to eliminate ‘excessive regulations in all levels of government’

Highlights from Brad Little’s first State of the State Address

On Monday, January 7, Gov. Brad Little gave his first State of the State Address focusing on education, health care, public safety, transportation and more.
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On Monday, January 7, Gov. Brad Little gave his first State of the State Address focusing on education, health care, public safety, transportation and more.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little has officially issued the first two executive orders of his tenure.

Both orders will help reduce the state’s regulatory burdens on businesses and Gem State workers, he said.

“As most know, excessive regulations in all levels of government can impose high costs on businesses, inhibit job growth and impede the privater sector,” Little said during a signing press conference on Thursday.

The Idaho Administrative Code has 736 chapters with 8,278 pages detailing more than 72,000 regulations, Little said.

To reduce and streamline these changes, one of his executive orders, the Red Tape Reduction Act, requires all state agencies to revoke two regulations for every new one it wants to implement, forcing agencies to overhaul regulations and remove any outdated and unnecessary rules.

The other executive order, the Licensing Freedom Act of 2019, requires a comprehensive review of and overhaul of the state’s professional licensing system, which comprises 442 different license types administered by 60 state agencies, boards or commissions.

This order requires “sunrise and sunset processes,” meaning a thorough review to determine if a new law is necessary and if existing ones need to be retired, to evaluate future occupational licensing laws to ensure they are necessary and review all existing licensing rules.

“Every year we will review no fewer than five license types to determine whether continuation of those regulatory programs is in the public’s interest,” he said. Little will work with the Legislature to decide which licenses get reviewed annually.

“Onerous and outdated regulations in state government present barriers to independence and prosperity for Idahoans,” Little said. “The two executive orders I signed today help simplify Idaho state government and make it more accountable.”

Little announced his intent to issue these two orders in his inaugural State of the State speech Jan. 7. He said during the speech his third executive order would pertain to addressing the opioid crisis.

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Idaho Statesman investigative reporter Cynthia Sewell was named Idaho Press Club reporter of the year in 2017 and 2008. A University of Oregon graduate, she joined the Statesman in 2005. Her family has lived in Idaho since the mid-1800s.
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