Regulation

The Case for Federal Regulation Sunset Laws

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that Texas saves $42 for every dollar it spends on sunset reviews.

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You can't avoid death and taxes. Unless you're a government agency, in which case, you gain immortality from other peoples' tax dollars. More than 3,500 new regulations from 60 or so agencies hit the books every year, but almost none are repealed. There are hundreds more agencies that don't issue regulations, but run spending programs and give subsidies to private businesses. This problem has many possible solutions. It is well past time to try at least one of them: automatic sunsets for new regulations.

Just as every carton of milk has an expiration date, sunset provisions automatically end agencies, programs, and regulations after a fixed period of time, unless specifically reauthorized by Congress. We already know the idea works. Several states already have sunset laws in place. They typically establish a sunset committee or commission, which reviews programs and agencies whose time is almost up and makes recommendations to the legislature. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that Texas saves $42 for every dollar it spends on sunset reviews.

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