Republican Representatives Jon Jacobsen and Rob Bacon worked together to pass House File 254 through a Monday subcommittee.
Jacobsen and Bacon sponsored the legislation, which provides a rule filing that adds one or more regulations to the Iowa administrative code shall also rescind a number of regulations equal to at least twice the number of regulations added.
Doug Struyk registered undecided on behalf of the Iowa State Bar Association. He said there are concerns about the mechanics of making such a law work.
Drew Klein of Americans For Prosperity spoke in favor of the legislation. Growth of the administrative code is a real problem in Iowa, he said, and other states have shown that recission can be a powerful tool.
“The reality is it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly which rules are most burdensome,” he said. “Instead an accumulation of rules stifle growth of businesses and often times stop the genesis of new businesses. I think it’ll have a positive long-term impact on the state of Iowa. The reality is unless we apply some sort of pressure to reduce the amount of administrative rules in the code, then it’s just not going to happen at the rate we would like it to.”
Victoria Sinclair of Iowans for Tax Relief agreed with most of what Klein said. She also noted that the authors of the bill were thoughtful in providing an opportunity to not rescind if they couldn’t find rules needing to be rescinded.
Democrat State Rep. Jennifer Konfrst said she wouldn’t sign the bill because it is too broad, calling the legislation “a little arbitrary.”
“I think we should be working with agencies to identify what rules get reviewed already versus blindly saying hack it,” she said.
Bacon offered just a few words:
“I like the bill,” he said.
Jacobsen noted two years ago when the bill was first introduced he stacked the current rules and regulations on the table and couldn’t see across because of the proliferation of them.
“In my district, the main complaint that I always receive from small business is just the tyranny of the regulatory environment that they’re in across industries,” he said. “This bill actually I think is a good start.”