Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Eliminating Unnecessary Red Tape In State Government

Eliminating Unnecessary Red Tape In State Government
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

DaugaardEvery year, from the second Tuesday in January until mid-March, the South Dakota Legislature convenes in Pierre to create laws. Legislators come to town ready to offer proposals to improve our state and better serve South Dakotans.

This legislative session, a total of 429 bills were introduced and as I write this, I’ve signed 198 of those bills into law. But not every one of those bills creates new laws. We’ve also repealed laws. So far this year, I’ve signed 13 bills to repeal unnecessary and outdated laws.

With laws, more isn’t necessarily better. Laws should be clear and easy to follow. Government shouldn’t place unnecessary hurdles before our citizens or entrepreneurs, and things shouldn’t be overly complicated for people who are trying to know and obey the law.

That’s why a few years ago I started asking state agencies to identify provisions we can repeal.

With the help of the agencies and legislators, we’ve already gone a long way in removing unnecessary red tape in state government. In this legislative session alone, we have repealed 235 sections of law and 90 sections of administrative rules. Since beginning this effort in 2012, we have eliminated over 4,000 sections of law and regulations – which amounts to a total of 444,426 words that have been repealed.

We’ve repealed outdated provisions dealing with a wide range of subjects, from petroleum products, to county prisoners, to the federal census, to traction engines, to the medical department of the National Guard, and more.

I am grateful legislators have joined me in my effort to minimize red tape and I hope this is a habit that we will continue in years to come. Our efforts to cut red tape may not be creating headlines, but they’re important.