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New Texas Law Reflects Trump Executive Order

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In the earliest days of Donald Trump’s presidency, he signed an executive order forcing federal executive agencies to repeal two regulations for every new regulation they create.

On May 1, the Texas State Senate passed SB 210, by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, to require state agencies to do basically the same. 

In a statement on Facebook, Kolkhorst had this to say:

“For too long, unelected bureaucrats have been stifling economic growth and opportunity with excessive regulations. That’s why I filed and passed the Regulatory Reduction Act in the Senate which will require government agencies to repeal or amend two existing regulations before a new regulation may go into effect. This policy is intended to reduce outdated and irresponsible regulatory burdens on local businesses so they can focus on creating good jobs for all Texans!”

Five days later, the House followed suit, passing HB 1290, the version of the bill which would gain Governor Abbott’s signature in June.

HB 1290 in its final form was not as demanding as the Trump order, or SB 210. Its a one-for-one requirement.

The new law mandates that state agencies, anytime they want to create new regulations imposing costs on individuals, businesses, or other agencies, must repeal or amend one existing regulation that imposes costs.

The goal is to neutralize or reduce the cost of new agency rules on the business marketplace.

It’s part of Texas Republicans’ continuing push to make Texas as enticing as possible for business.

While the actual wording of HB 1290 might not be as demanding as Trump’s executive order, it certainly has more force. Trump’s order can die with the stroke of his pen, or the termination of his presidency. And there is nothing enforcing his order without obedient subordinates.

HB 1290, now law, cannot be undone by the next governor without the legislature passing a bill to repeal it. And agencies don’t have a choice but to enforce it. If an agency refuses to amend or repeal an existing regulation when passing a new one, citizens can take the issue before a court and force the agency’s compliance.

But while state agencies may now be somewhat restrained by the law, the legislature can, of course, at any time pass regulations for them.

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