Regulations are not just rules; they are a hidden tax.

Regulations are necessary, but too many will stifle economic growth and hinder individuals’ ability to
earn a living.

During the last legislative session, Governor Reynolds continued regulatory reform started in 2020 with an executive order placing a moratorium on new regulations and requiring a review of existing rules.

2020 Occupational Licensing Reform

  • Universal recognition of out-of-state licenses
  • Waived licensing fees for low-income individuals
  • Established a fairer standard of review for licenses denied based on past criminal convictions

While Governor Reynolds has led on executive branch regulatory reforms, more work is needed to improve legislative oversight of regulations.

Reform also needs to be applied through the judicial branch. Iowa law dictates that judges ruling on legal challenges to state agency decisions give deference, or prioritization, to state agency rulings when considering challenges to agency decisions. This unfairly favors the government over the individual. Iowa code needs to be changed to require de novo (Latin for “of new”) judicial review over the current agency deference standard, restoring the scales of justice back to a neutral stance and ensuring the right of the individual to a fair and impartial judicial outcome.

A reduction of the barriers of “red tape” will add to and amplify other reforms, moving Iowa toward a more competitive economic climate.

Encourage Innovation Through Regulatory Sandboxes

Regulatory sandboxes allow localized industries to develop ideas free from burdensome regulations.

They create a safe and transparent avenue for businesses and entrepreneurs to innovate and can help regulators determine if existing regulations are burdensome and need to be repealed.

Several Iowa industries could benefit:

  • Insurance
  • Finance
  • Agriculture
  • Bioscience
  • Manufacturing

As tax and regulatory reforms spur our state’s economy forward, policymakers must ensure regulations do not unnecessarily prevent innovation, new ideas, and new jobs from being created in Iowa.

The executive order issued by Governor Reynolds is already providing an executive-led regulatory reform effort, but the legislature can do more to eliminate burdensome regulations and ensure our regulatory climate encourages competition and allows people and businesses to earn a living without battling red tape.

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