Testimony: Protecting the Rights of Individuals and Businesses Through Regulatory Reform


Testimony in Support of LD 1744: “An Act to Strengthen Accountability in Rulemaking by Providing for Legislative Oversight”

Senator Nangle, Representative Stover, and the distinguished members of the Committee on State and Local Government, my name is Nick Murray and I serve as director of policy for Maine Policy Institute. We are a free market think tank, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that advocates for individual liberty and economic freedom in Maine. Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of LD 1744.

This bill would establish a joint committee to review administrative rules. It would also establish a Legislative Economic Analysis Unit, headed by a chief economist, to provide an unbiased report on the economic impact of potential or existing agency rules. Both of these offices are much-needed in Maine’s government, given the vast costs imposed by the regulatory state.

This bill is necessary because the administrative state is out of control, certainly at the federal level, but also within the Maine state government. The growth of the power of executive branch agencies to draft, adopt, and enforce legislation has wrought drastic economic costs.

An analysis of the 2018 Code of Maine Rules (CMR) found that it contains 113,862 regulatory restrictions and 8.1 million words. Author James Broughel noted that “it would take an individual about 449 hours – or more than 11 weeks – to read the entire 2018 CMR, assuming the reader spends 40 hours per week reading at a rate of 300 words per minute.” 

These regulations are not empty words; each is backed by the force of law, bearing costs for those tasked with complying with them. And since they are promulgated by the agencies who enforce them, Maine business owners are left to the whim of bureaucrats who, while constantly changing the rules, make it nearly impossible to follow them.

Please deem LD 1744 “Ought To Pass” and restore a proper role for the executive branch, one which merely enforces laws passed by the legislature, not one which gets to stake out the limits of its own power to the detriment of Maine people and industry. Thank you for your time and consideration.