Idaho increases its lead as least regulated state

Wednesday November 10, 2021

Boise, Idaho – The Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently released new regulatory data showing Idaho widened its gap as the least regulated state in the nation.

“In my first year as Governor, we surpassed South Dakota and achieved the title of least regulated state in the country. We cut or simplified 75-percent of regulations in a matter of months, transforming our administrative code. We’ve taken other steps since then to ensure Idaho regulations remain streamlined, user-friendly, and easy to understand,” Governor Brad Little said. “Here in Idaho, we are demonstrating that if you roll up your sleeves, stay focused on your goal, and work effectively with others, you can get things done. When we reduce regulatory friction, good jobs follow.”

The Mercatus data show Idaho held the line with 39,000 regulations in 2020, demonstrating the success of Governor Little’s rules moratorium over the past year. Governor Little expects cuts made this year, when finalized, will put Idaho at fewer than 35,000 regulations given the success of the first year of zero-based regulation.

Meanwhile, in the same time period, the Democrat-led neighbor states of Oregon and Washington increased their regulatory burden; Oregon went from 200,000 regulations to 205,000 regulations, and Washington increased from 197,000 restrictions to 200,000 restrictions.

Cutting red tape has been a key achievement and unrelenting focus of Governor Little’s since he took office close to three years ago. Within his first few weeks in office, he issued two executive orders aimed at scaling back regulations – the Red Tape Reduction Act and Licensing Freedom Act of 2019. In addition, Governor Little’s Zero-Based Regulation executive order last year forces a routine review of rule chapters annually. Finally, Governor Little signed an executive order last year shrinking the size of state government by consolidating 11 separate agencies in the new Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses, a move that has led to efficiencies and resulted in better service at a lower cost for Idahoans.

The Mercatus data is publicly available at this link:

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