By Lyndsie Kiebert
Idaho Governor Brad Little is all about keeping it simple.
He’s made it his mission to wield scissors to bureaucratic red tape, and when faced with reviewing all 8,200 pages of Idaho Administrative Code, he and his team “cut or simplified” 40 percent of the state’s regulations, according to a statement from Little last week.
At the end of each legislative session, Idaho lawmakers sign what’s commonly referred to as the “going home” bill, keeping Idaho’s rules in effect through the following year. That is, until the 2019 session, when a disagreement between the legislative bodies left the bill unsigned, leaving it to the governor’s office to make sure all code didn’t expire July 1.
Little and his team, along with all of the state’s rulemaking agencies, then had the chance to comb through the code themselves, something the governor said “was not something I asked for and didn’t necessarily want at first.” Now, however, the governor sees it as an opportunity to transform Idaho code “into a set of rules that are easier for Idahoans to understand and navigate.”
Little’s office “allowed rules that were obsolete, unnecessary, or unenforceable to expire.” One such rule, which Little said exemplified the “silliness that made its way into our laws over time,” stated that the state’s deputy veterinarian “must be attired in neat, clean and correct clothing” and “at all times have proper behavior, be alert, animated, agreeable and have pleasant manners.”
“I am sure our state deputy veterinarian will be glad to know he won’t be breaking the law from now on if he comes to work with an untucked shirt!” Little wrote in a statement June 19 outlining just how he and his team went about cutting nearly 900 pages of regulations.
To review the proposed compilation of more succinct rules, visit adminrules.idaho.gov and look under the “Bulletin” tab for the document published June 19. Each section gives guidelines and deadlines for public comment depending on the department to which those rules pertain.
“It is really that simple to make a difference,” said Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, in a call-to-action email Monday. “Complaining and getting angry with government will not fix government; only involvement and civil communication will.”
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