Guest Opinions

HJR 5: All about accountability

Brent Hill
Brent Hill

House Joint Resolution 5 will be on your November ballot. It is all about accountability. It is about protecting our lives and businesses from unwarranted government intrusion. By voting “Yes” on HJR 5, you will be protecting Idahoans from excessive regulations, ensuring your voice is heard, and holding our state government accountable to the people it serves.

Legislation is an open process where our elected officials enact laws under the watchful eye of the public. Open hearings are held, public input is considered, and lawmakers are held directly accountable for their actions.

In contrast, government agencies promulgate rules and regulations having the effect of law, but with little or no accountability. Agencies consist of unelected government officials that often do not understand the impact of their rules and regulations on Idaho families, farmers, ranchers and small businesses.

To prevent state agencies from implementing burdensome and unnecessary rules, Idaho’s Legislature reviews the rules and rejects those that are overreaching. A key part of the review each year is listening to everyday citizens who are best qualified to tell us whether or not the rules will work in real-life situations. A “Yes” vote on HJR 5 ensures that in the future, the Legislature’s current authority to approve or reject agency rules will not be taken away by an activist court, as has happened in other states.

America’s Founders envisioned a system of government with a balance of power within three branches. It was designed to prevent any person or group from gaining excessive power. When that balance of power blurs, it impacts all citizens. We have all seen the aggressive tactics of unrestrained federal agencies, such as the EPA, overstepping their authority to establish onerous, sometimes disastrous regulations. Voting “Yes” on HJR 5 will prevent that from ever occurring in Idaho.

Voting “Yes” on HJR 5 prevents state agencies from implementing arduous rules and restrictions that negatively impact your livelihood, your leisure, and your way of life.

Voting “Yes” on HJR 5 encourages better communication and cooperation within our branches of state government. Politicians and state government employees won’t be able to blame each other for needless, burdensome regulations that affect your everyday lives. HJR 5 holds them accountable to citizens, ensuring that citizens voices are heard.

For these reasons and many more, HJR 5 has the strong support of the Idaho Farm Bureau, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Idaho Milk Producers, the Idaho Realtors Association, the Idaho Water Users Association and Food Producers of Idaho, just to name a few. Many other small business owners, farmers, ranchers and families are supporting this important initiative. I urge you to join them and me and vote “Yes” on HJR 5 and hold your state government accountable for its actions.

Brent Hill is Idaho Senate president pro tempore.