regulations

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.”