Thousands of state government rules would be scrapped under Iowa Senate bill

Iowa has 160,000 state government rules regulating everything from agriculture to public safety and health, and one-third of them would be scrapped under a bill advanced Monday in the Iowa Senate.

Senate File 2190 was approved on a 2-1 vote, sending it to the Senate Labor and Business Relations Committee for further consideration. The legislation is supported by Iowa business organizations and Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group funded by brothers David H. Koch and Charles Koch.

The bill, introduced by Senate President Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, says that after July 1, 2019, the total number of rules in the Iowa administrative code could not exceed the number as of one year earlier. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, the Iowa administrative code could not exceed two-thirds of the number of rules in place on July 1, 2018.

“When I look at 160,000 rules in the State of Iowa, it makes me think that there are some that we don’t need,” said Sen. Michael Breitbach, R-Strawberry Point, who backed the bill. Critics of the bill should offer amendments, he suggested.

The legislation would require the Iowa Department of Management, in consultation with other state officials, to ensure ongoing compliance with the bill’s limitations. A report on the total number of rules would be submitted each January, and state officials would be prohibited from achieving compliance solely be combining rules or redesignating rules as sub-rules or other sub-units of the Iowa administrative code.


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