SB 2048: Regulatory reduction pilot program


Senate Bill 2048, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Blackwell, would require five state agencies to begin a regulatory reduction program over the next three years.

Economists have estimated that if regulations had been frozen at 1980s levels, the U.S. economy would be over $4 trillion larger than it currently is. That’s over $13,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. And regulatory accumulation has a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged populations, who can neither navigate the complexity nor afford the price of entry.

Similar reductions in the past have been demonstrated effective in other places. In the last decade, lawmakers in British Columbia worked with public sector workers to streamline, reducing regulations by over 40 percent. In Idaho last year, Gov. Brad Little led an effort to repeal the entire regulatory code and replace it with a smaller package.

And there are plenty of areas to cut. Mississippi currently has 118,000 regulations, making it the most regulated state in the Southeast. This totals 9.3 million words. Mississippi is also the only state in the Southeast, save for Louisiana, that is not growing, an indictment of our overburdensome regulations.

This is a pilot program that would include the Departments of Education, Finance and Administration, Health, Information Technology, and Transportation. Each of these agencies would be required to implement a 10 percent reduction each year for the next three years. By 2023, each agency would have experienced a 30 percent reduction drop.

Under the program, each pilot agency would be required to undertake a review of every regulation, rule, and requirement under its jurisdiction. During the process, the public would be allowed to provide comments and two public forums would be held.

If an agency failed to reach its target, the legislature would initiate a budgetary audit of each agency. And in three years, the PEER committee would conduct a review of the pilot program.

Empower Mississippi supports this legislation.

It has been referred to Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency. You can read the bill here.