Idaho now claims to be the least-regulated of the Fifty States, after eliminating 1,804 pages from their administrative code, according to Newsbreak. As the headline puts it, “Move over South Dakota, You’re No Longer the Least Regulated State in America.”
I am fond of reminding my friends and clients, we who live and work and run businesses in South Dakota are blessed. Especially if we are involved in mining, construction materials, use chemicals, want to build things (especially houses), and other things. Because our regulatory burden is lighter than the states around us: especially places like Colorado, New Mexico, and Minnesota. These are all places I work for clients, and have to sort through their regulations and bureaucracy. I was not aware that “officially” South Dakota was the “least regulated State.”
Actually, I’m glad it was, and I’m glad that Idaho is now – and urge South Dakota’s legislators, when they meet next month, to take up the “Idaho Challenge” to again regain the title.
They report that Idaho has eliminated 30,936 of 72,000 “restrictions” (by which I assume they mean rules). That is 17.1 regulations PER page, and leaves just 41,064 restrictions. South Dakota, on the other hand, still has 44,000 regulations on the books. (I don’t know how many pages this means are left in Idaho’s regulations or the Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD). But if it the same 17.1 regulations per page, the Idaho code still has 2,401 pages.
That is just TWICE as many pages as the King James Bible, which typically has just 1,200 pages. And Idaho (and South Dakota) STILL have more regulations than the Bible has verses (31,173 verses). Not commands, but VERSES.
Don’t get me wrong. Idaho has every right to be proud of its governor, legislature, and bureaucracy. I can only imagine the agony of the typical bureaucrat in doing the cutting. To say nothing of the typical politician and elected official. After all, we call the legislators “lawmakers” not “lawcutters.”
Still, that means Idaho STILL has 57% of its old regulations. There are still 113 rules PER day of the year. That is STILL at least 40,000 TOO MANY rules on the books (assuming that we can find 1000 or so that are prohibiting things like theft, murder, and assaulting people.
Every one of those regulations, those restrictions, imposes SOME sort of burden on the people of those States. And on visitors to those states, people and companies who do business with companies in those states.
Every restriction or rule costs money – usually stolen taxpayer money (even if they are called fees) – to implement and enforce. And MORE money to comply with those limits on our everyday lives.
And it is very likely that at least ONE (and certainly many more) of those rules make criminals out of people TRYING to be law-abiding and peaceful. Combined, I doubt is there is a single person over the age of 4 or 5 in Idaho (or South Dakota) who hasn’t broken many of those laws. (And that may apply to anyone not still in their mother’s arms.)
We are far too governed, regulated, restricted by government at the State level if we have these regulations on the books, whether they are enforced strictly or not.
And if anyone has any time to go through 41,000 or 44,000 regulations to evaluate “are these constitutional” in the strict sense of understanding the Constitution… I wonder if even 1,000 would still be legitimate.
So while I greet and congratulate Idaho on this, and am still happier with South Dakota than virtually any other State, I tell them and you: “We’ve got a long, LONG way to go.”
I would urge South Dakota to work very hard to eliminate AT LEAST 6,000 regulations in 2020, as a good start. 12,000 would be even better, but still leaves us with more than God needed in the Bible.
But it IS a start.