When it comes to competing with other states, Idaho is upping the anti.

Idaho’s new governor, Brad Little, is on a mission to reduce red tape on businesses in Idaho. His first two executive orders were the Licensing Freedom Act and the Red Tape Reduction Act.

Both are aimed at reducing regulatory burdens on residents and businesses. The licensing order calls for an overhaul of the state’s occupational licensing laws and the red tape order requires state agencies to propose two rules for simplification or elimination for each new rule it brings forth.

The reduction was somewhat happenstance – the turning of what at first seemed to be a negative into a positive. At first, Gov. Little was not happy that the Idaho state legislature failed to re-authorize all administrative rules for another year. Their failure meant that all existing rules would expire on July 1, 2019.

Gov. Little and his administration rallied and on June 19, after holding 40 public hearings on all rules to be removed, changed or re-authorized, the governor announced all rules set to expire July 1 due to legislative inaction had been republished and the state was back on track. And in the process, they had cut or simplified 40 percent of Idaho’s administrative rules.

Now Idaho and its rapid regulatory reform are the talk of the nation among government regulatory wonks. Bolstered by the rapid, albeit labor-intensive, results, Little said he wants to cut even more. By the end of the year, he hopes to see a total reduction of 55% to 60% all state regulations, including significant streamlining of Idaho occupational licensing rules.


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