Progress advances on Governor Little’s rule consolidation executive order

Monday February 25, 2019

Boise, Idaho – Less than one month after Governor Brad Little implemented the “Red Tape Reduction Act” through Executive Order 2019-02, progress is taking place to simplify and scale back Idaho’s administrative rules.

All State of Idaho agencies with authority to issue administrative rules are required by Governor Little’s executive order to identify at least two existing rules to be repealed or significantly simplified for every one rule they propose.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) announced in an internal newsletter earlier this month it is enthusiastically embracing Governor Little’s executive order that aims to reduce regulatory burdens on Idaho citizens and businesses.

“ITD is already getting in the spirit of the new executive order to reduce the burden on Idahoans by consolidating 22 administrative rules down to just eight and 17 annual DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) permits down to eight as well,” the ITD newsletter stated.

The House and Senate Transportation Committees already approved the ITD rule package this session. Governor Little’s executive order implements new processes for administrative rulemaking after April 2019.

“The eagerness shown by the Idaho Transportation Department for streamlining regulations moving forward demonstrates the collaborative nature of my executive order,” Governor Little said. “We’re working closely with the agencies to better serve all Idahoans through safe and effective regulation.”

The executive order also requires agencies to designate an existing employee as a Rules Review Officer to undertake a critical and comprehensive review of their administrative rules and identify costly, ineffective, or outdated regulations.

More than half of all agencies with rulemaking authority have identified their Rules Review Officer, and all of them will be in place by March 1.

In addition, the Division of Financial Management just wrapped up its first training session for agency Rules Review Officers last Friday, and additional trainings will continue throughout March and April.

Idaho’s administrative code includes 736 chapters and 8,278 pages of regulations and at least 72,000 total restrictions. The three most regulated areas in Idaho are economic development with 3,018 pages of regulations, natural resources with 1,815 pages of regulations, and health and human services with 1,666 pages of regulations.

In just 20 years, from 1998 to 2018, the number of restrictions in Idaho administrative code grew more than 32 percent and added nearly 2,000 pages.

Additional information on growth in the Idaho administrative code is shown in the table below.

Metric 1998 Total 2018 Total Percent Change (1998 to 2018) Average Annual Growth
Chapters 647 736 13.8% 4.45 chapters
Pages 6,288 8,278 31.6% 99.5 pages
Restrictions 54,755 72,697 32.8% 897 restrictions


Executive Order 2019-02 also requires agencies to submit a business/competitiveness impact statement that identifies the impact any proposed rule will have on individuals and small businesses. The Division of Financial Management will provide Governor Little an annual report on outlining the progress made in eliminating burdensome regulations and streamlining state government.

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