Bill Calls for a Reduction in Regulation

By Matthew Nicaud
January 27, 2022

It would be an understatement to say that the number of regulations in Mississippi is immensely high. But Senator Kevin Blackwell has introduced legislation to proactively lower that number. Senate Bill 2162 would require several state agencies to repeal two regulations for every new regulation.

While many regulatory reforms have addressed regulatory burdens in certain areas, policies have seen success in other states due to the numerical nature of the reform. While certain reforms that single out specific regulations are laudable, this legislation is unique in that it addresses the bigger picture behind regulatory burdens as a whole.

A study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that there are “117,558 restrictions and 9.3 million words. It would take an individual about 518 hours—or almost 13 weeks—to read.” Such regulations have been brought about over several decades, with some dating back to the 1950s.

While such a gargantuan number of regulations can seem daunting, regulatory excesses have been tackled before using policies similar to SB2162. In 2017, the Trump Administration incorporated a similar “one-in-two-out” policy and other reforms with the aim to reduce federal regulations. According to a report from the Heritage Foundation, these reforms led to reduced regulatory burdens and saved the American economy billions of dollars in regulatory costs.

The same is true on a state level. While individual repeals of such regulations can be extremely helpful in many cases, Mississippi needs an overhaul of its entire regulatory system that is based upon empirical data and facts. As the state of Mississippi turns the page into the 2020s, it is time for any new regulations to start clearing away old regulations. In addition, Blackwell’s legislation does not just replace old regulations with new ones. There is a 1:2 ratio for the number of new regulations versus the reduction in existing regulations. The time has come for Mississippi to do some regulatory clean-up and clear away the tangle of regulations that have built up over the years and threaten to clog economic growth. Senator Blackwell is to be commended for introducing this legislation that could serve as a real catalyst for regulatory reduction and economic prosperity.

The Mississippi Center for Public Policy approves of this legislation and will continue to update you as the 2022 Mississippi Legislative Session continues, and you can keep up with measures by watching our Legislative Tracker.

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