Key Points
  • Regulations should always be simple and transparent, focusing on the particular issue and should not become an opportunity to provide favoritism to particular special interests.
  • Regulations should not be based on speculation, anecdotes, statistical correlation and nonreplicable or non-independent studies. Instead, a science-based approach that involves credible cost-benefit analysis, publicly-available data and scientifically validated data should be part of any state risk assessment.
  • Legislative oversight and democratic accountability are critical components of sound regulatory systems.

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said that “the sum of good government” was one “which shall restrain men from injuring one another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry.” Sadly, governments – both federal and state – have ignored this axiom and continue to rapidly expand the already immense regulatory state.

Virtually every facet of our lives is somehow touched by government regulations. The food we eat, cars we drive, places we work, even the mattresses we sleep on every night are regulated, in some way, by federal and state governments. According to an estimate by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, regulatory compliance costs and economic impacts total $1.863 trillion annually, equal to a roughly $15,000 “hidden tax” per U.S. household. Americans spend more on this “tax” than any other expense except for housing.

Research from the Mercatus Center finds that total federal regulatory restrictions have increased by nearly 170 percent since 1970, to more than 1 million. It would take a person more than 3 years to read the Code of Federal Regulations if it was their full-time job. The slower economic growth associated with regulatory accumulation resulted in an economy that was $4 trillion smaller in 2012 than it could have been had regulation been held at 1980 levels. Meanwhile, states have added restrictions to the total, ranging from just over 63,000 in Arizona to more than 307,000 in New York.

This is not to say that all regulations are bad and should be done away with entirely. Obviously, there is a role for governments to play in ensuring the air and water we breathe and drink is clean, food and medication we consume are safe and the places we work don’t pose significant threats to our health and safety. That said, regulations should be transparent, fair, and impose minimal financial burdens on businesses and families.


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Model Policies

  • Regulatory Sunset Act Final

    (a) Any rule promulgated after the effective date of this Act shall terminate five years after it is promulgated. Any rule, promulgated on or before the effective date of this Act, that is amended after the effective date of this Act shall terminate five years after its first post-Act amendment.

  • Statement of Principles on Ending Home Equity Theft Final

    Section 1. Twelve States’ Current Laws Facilitate Government Theft of Home Equity In a minority of states, if a property owner fails to pay or underpays their property taxes, the county or a lienholder can eventually take the entire property along with the owner’s equity for a debt of just…

  • Targeted Regulatory Sandbox Act Final

    Purpose: This proposal modifies provisions related to the (insert relevant state agency) and allows businesses, under the observation of regulators, to trial new products, services, and business models while bypassing regulations unsuited for their innovative idea. Section 1. Highlighted Provisions. This bill: defines terms; creates an ____________ regulatory sandbox program…

  • Universal Regulatory Sandbox Act Final

    Purpose: This proposal modifies provisions related to the (INSERT RELEVANT STATE AGENCY) and allows businesses, under the observation of regulators, to trial innovative products, services, and business models while temporarily bypassing laws or regulations that may conflict. Section 1. State’s Open Records Provisions. ● Insert relevant state open…

  • Resolution Urging Congress to Let States Cut Taxes Final

    Model Resolution WHEREAS, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, despite an increase in total state and local revenue in calendar year 2020; WHEREAS, ARPA funds were in addition to hundreds of billions in federal assistance to state and local governments…

  • Unattended Retail Innovation Act Final

    BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF __________: Section 1. For purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings: (a)MICRO MARKET. An unstaffed, self-checkout retail food service facility that consists of the following: (1) Includes one or more micro market displays. (2) Has an automated payment…

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Task Forces

Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development

Members of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force believe that economic freedom is the cornerstone of prosperity. The…

Energy, Environment and Agriculture

The Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force operates under the principles of free-market environmentalism, that is to promote the mutually…

Communications and Technology

With nearly 200 members representing all parts of the country and every segment of industry, the Communications and Technology Task…

Press Releases

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