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Ivey orders 25% cut to business regulations

Gov. Kay Ivey issued an executive order Wednesday that instructs Alabama’s executive branch agencies to cut 25% of its regulations on businesses and citizens by March of 2025.

Ivey first announced the endeavor during her state of the state address on Tuesday, arguing that “sometimes, the best thing government can do is just get out of the way.”

Executive Order 735

The executive order will be carried out in three phases. Phase one will require each state executive branch agencies – state institutions such as the oil and gas board, environmental management agency,  building commission and forestry commission – to prepare a list of its existing regulations, a phase that will occur through September of this year.

Phase two will require those agencies and institutions by March 2024 to develop a plan to reduce regulations by 25%. Phase three will see those regulation reduction plans be executed between March 2024 and March 2025.

In addition, the executive order will implement a moratorium on the adoption or amendment of any additional regulations through Mar. 1, 2024, save for a few exceptions. Exceptions include regulation adoptions or amendments scheduled to take effect prior to the executive order being issued, or regulations specifically tailored to “reduce or remove a regulatory burden.”

Each agency or institution is also instructed to designate an existing employee as its “red tape reduction coordinator,” who will be responsible for undertaking the review of their agency’s administrative rules. According to the executive order, that designation must be submitted to the office of the governor by May 1 of this year.

Rosemary Elebash, the Alabama state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, praised the executive order as being an effective way to help businesses’ recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation.

“Our economy has improved considerably since the pandemic began, but inflation, supply chain issues, and a tough labor market are still creating challenges for many small businesses,” Elebash said. “Governor Ivey’s commitment to reducing red tape and streamlining state government will relieve some of the pressure on Main Street businesses and make it easier for them to fully recover.”

Elebash also praised the moratorium imposed on new regulations, saying that the provision helps give businesses “a little breathing room and a chance to get caught up.”

According to a 2021 study by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, Alabama ranked 29th in the country in terms of having the least amount of business regulatory barriers. 

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