How to Cut Red Tape in Blue States

  • Jared Meyer

For a start, restore sanity to licensing requirements.

For years, Wisconsin and Indiana policymakers have worked to lure businesses away from neighboring Illinois. Highway signs asked commuters if they were “Illinoyed” with the state’s overbearing business regulations and high taxes. Many business owners packed up and left. As the Illinois Policy Institute points out, Illinois is one of only four states that have seen no private-sector job growth in the 21st century.

When Republican Bruce Rauner was elected as governor in 2014, his message was clear: cut job-killing red tape. Delivering on this promise, Rauner issued Executive Order 16-13 on October 17. The goal of this executive order, Rauner writes on the state’s website, is “to reduce the amount of red tape, paperwork, and regulatory burdens by at least 25% over the course of the next two years, and save people from paying at least $250,000,000 in government fees.”

To reach these goals, Rauner provides seven guidelines, including making sure that regulations are up to date, understandable, consistent, necessary, and not unduly burdensome. Each state agency must complete a review of its administrative rules to make sure they follow these guidelines. Regulations that fail to meet the new standards can be repealed or reformed.