Governor Little outlines process to keep administrative rules in effect

Tuesday April 23, 2019

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little began laying out his plan today to ensure existing administrative rules remain in effect following the Idaho Legislature’s decision not to reauthorize the rules during the 2019 legislative session.

“The efficient operation of state government is a priority of mine, and the people of Idaho expect it,” Governor Little said. “I have directed my administration to exercise necessary executive authority to minimize the impact on state agencies – and the public most importantly – as we work to address this unique circumstance.”

The Idaho Administrative Code has the full force of law. At the beginning of the year, it included 736 chapters and 8,278 pages of regulations and at least 72,000 total restrictions. The Idaho Legislature in the past has reauthorized all existing rules at the end of the legislative session but did not do so this year. As a result, Governor Little must use executive administrative action to ensure rules remain in effect after July 1, 2019.

The majority of existing rules will be reauthorized before July 1. Agencies will re-publish the rules as “temporary and proposed rules” concurrently in a special edition of the Idaho Administrative Bulletin in June 2019. Agencies will accept written comments in accordance with state law. All rules reauthorized through this process are subject to legislative review during the 2020 legislative session.

Governor Little’s administration will use the unique opportunity to allow some chapters of Idaho Administrative Code that are clearly outdated and irrelevant to expire on July 1, 2019. An agency must notify the Division of Financial Management (DFM) if it identifies a rule that could be eliminated. DFM will solicit public comment on any proposed rule elimination. Governor Little ultimately will make the decision before July 1 whether to let a rule expire.

“I did not ask for this and did not want this,” Governor Little said. “However, I will use all authority I have to ensure our state government continues to operate smoothly and the administrative rules remain in effect without interruption.”

Any new rules or significant modifications to existing rules must go through the normal rulemaking process, which traditionally involves a months-long process of negotiated, proposed, and pending rule stages with specific requirements for public comment.

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