Now with twice the freeze: Lee issues 90-day moratorium on new regulations

Bill Lee delivers his inaugural address in Nashville on Jan. 19, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Lee in his fifth executive order issued Friday declared a 90-day halt on new regulations. That’s double the length of a freeze imposed by his predecessor, Bill Haslam, when he took office in 2011.

Here’s the release from Lee administration:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order to halt new regulations for the next 90 days across all state executive branch departments

“As part of our efforts to limit the size of state government, we are taking a close look at the regulations we are imposing on citizens and businesses in Tennessee,” said Lee. “Our goal is to make Tennessee the most job-friendly state in the country and we are working to promote job creation and a commonsense regulatory approach.” 

Executive Order 5 outlines a 90-day freeze in which no executive branch department will file a new rule or regulation with the Secretary of State. During the freeze, the executive branch will develop a framework to better assess the costs and benefits of imposing a new regulation.

The order also underscores creating a regulatory environment that encourages “self-improvement, entrepreneurship and investment.” Departments may receive an exception from the governor in the event a proposed rule benefits the health, safety or welfare of Tennesseans. Regulations approved by the previous administration that have not yet taken effect will be excluded from the executive order.

“I’ve encouraged each department to think about their respective roles in making our state the best place to live, work and play,” said Lee. “A more thoughtful approach to regulation is a key step in getting government out of the way and putting the citizens of Tennessee first.”   

12 Responses to Now with twice the freeze: Lee issues 90-day moratorium on new regulations

  • To have all departments take a step back, asses where they are is very wise. Regulating for the purpose of regulating is not the job of the Government. Helping to create an atmosphere of safety, economic growth, jobs and great education is.

  • Donna Locke says:

    Remember that Tennessee, thanks to Republican inaction for many years now, does not require employers of fewer than 50 employees to use E-Verify to verify that new hires are authorized to work in this country. And no employer in Tennessee is required by any state law to verify that any employee already working for them is authorized to work in this country. And E-Verify does that only for prospective hires, not current employees.

    So Tennessee is great for illegal aliens.

    When Republicans give you their lines about being against illegal immigration, most of them are lying to you. The rest, except for a very few, are contentedly clueless and indifferent.

    • MarLE says:

      2 States out of 50 currently require E-verify for All employees. And the efficacy of E-verify is questionable. If Amazon or Kroger can keep track of every bag of coffee or widget I order annually, how is it that E-verify cannot distinguish a valid from a fraudulent SS#. This obvious lack of Will to curtail the magnet for illegals (work, among many) cannot be overcome by a Wall. Chris Wallace on FOX put up statistics that we now have 2/3 of our illegals coming as a result of Visa-jumping. With no will to stop illegal immigration that figure will increase to 100%. And as for Drug containment. There would be NO MS-13 without American Customers!

      • Donna Locke says:

        Our country is seriously gone. We went to the next level a number of years ago. We need the wall, we need to militarize the borders, we need national E-Verify that works on all employees, we need the connected databases to do that–which the 9/11 Commission advised, we need serious interior enforcement that includes serious penalties on the employers betraying the American people, we need real visa-tracking, we need to fix birthright citizenship and the asylum tricks, we need to stop doing any amnesties and other rewards for illegality, we need to do a lot of stuff that our federal and state governments are not going to do. So, we’re at the next level.

        • MarLE says:

          Republicans need to openly criticize their president when it appears that HE has been hiring illegals and not using E-verify because he wasn’t mandated to. And they need to acknowledge the American public’s Significant Role in our drug problem. Have you ever, once EVER, heard this president Tweet or say anything to suggest that Americans are costing their fellow taxpayers Billions for their self-indulgence….and that they need to Knock it Off (variation on Nancy’s Just say NO)

          • MarLE says:

            Oh…and let’s not forget the amnesty this president was about to grant (and probably will give) to DACA. And once they have it there is no way their law-breaking parents are going to be deported. Our TN Congressional delegation says they cannot find one thing to fault this president for (take a look at the biggest outrage , the tax bill for starters) so you are right. On immigration and other issues, the country at 21T is gone.

    • June landrum says:

      I would say clueless

  • James White says:

    Gov. Lee wants to CUT regulations and Big government ? But the Tennessee Legislators want MORE Big Government. Why would anyone want to Enforce a new law on Private Businesses that would MAKE them allow people time off to go to their children’s school events?
    SB0420 – HB0363.
    More Government is NEVER the answer.

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    Lets freeze corporate welfare for 90 days as well!

  • Fritz says:


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