Good Government

Stitt plans significant state deregulation

January 9, 2020

Ray Carter

Gov. Kevin Stitt says he wants to slash state regulations by the end of his term in 2023.

Speaking to attendees of an Oklahoma City luncheon hosted by the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, Stitt said regulatory reform is going to be “one of my big focuses” in 2020.

“My goal is to have a 25-percent reduction in regulations by the end of my term,” Stitt said.

The governor noted that President Trump issued an executive order early in his administration that required federal agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one added. The results have exceeded that goal.

“The federal regulations, they’ve actually removed eight for every one that they’ve added in his administration, and it’s really unleashed the economy,” Stitt said.

The governor said he plans to issue a similar order at the state level, and the project will include a website where Oklahomans can suggest specific regulations to repeal.

He noted that Oklahoma has far more regulations than several neighboring states.

“To give you a comparison, Oklahoma has twice as many regulations as the state of Kansas, 15 to 20 percent more than New Mexico and Missouri,” Stitt said.

When James Broughel, an economist at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, analyzed federal and state regulatory codes to identify key imperative terms like “must,” “shall,” and “required,” he found that Oklahoma state regulations contained 145,296 such terms. That was well above the national average of roughly 131,000 and placed Oklahoma in the upper third of states in regulatory burden.

Stitt predicted that slashing unnecessary, outmoded, and burdensome regulations will provide fuel to job creation.

“We’re going to unleash our economy, our businesses,” Stitt said.

[Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Gov. Stitt’s first term ends in 2022. It ends in January 2023.]