Wilmeth Bill Would Protect Businesses From Regulatory Overreach

March 4, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

For over a decade, Arizona Legislative Republicans have not had to worry about a governor who may be inclined to use executive actions to unnecessarily regulate businesses around the state. They’re now advancing a bill to protect businesses in their districts from any new regulatory overreach that could be coming from the new Democrat Chief Executive on the Ninth Floor of Arizona’s Executive Tower.

This week, the Arizona House passed HB 2254, sponsored by Representative Justin Wilmeth. The bill “requires a proposed rule that will increase regulatory costs in excess of $500,000 within two years after implementation to be ratified by the Legislature,” according to the overview provided by the State House. 31 Republicans voted for the legislation, opposed by 27 Democrats. Two Democrats did not vote (Representatives Stacey Travers and Amish Shah).

Representative Wilmeth issued the following statement after his bill’s party-line passage in the House: “Burdensome regulations can lead to higher prices, fewer small businesses, and fewer jobs. HB 2254 says legislative approval would be required before high-cost rules could be implemented by the state. Executive agencies would have to get buy-in from the Legislature before they could move forward with major regulations. It will increase government accountability by strengthening oversight on unelected bureaucrats and help keep government regulations in check.”

Earlier last month, HB 2254 passed the House Government Committee with a partisan 5-4 vote and the House Rules Committee with a unanimous 8-0 vote.

Republican Legislators did not have to take precautions when it came to protecting Arizona businesses from the heavy and onerous hand of state government during the previous administration. Former Governor Doug Ducey led the way for the Grand Canyon State and the nation by “eliminat(ing) or improv(ing) over 3,365 regulations since 2015 – the equivalent of a $183 million tax cut.”

Representatives from the Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter, AZ Solar Energy Industries, and WM E Morris Institute for Justice opposed the bill’s passage through the House process. Stephen Shadegg from Americans for Prosperity Arizona supported this legislation.

HB 2254 now heads to the Arizona Senate. If it clears that chamber, it will await its fate at the hands of a governor who will have to decide whether to voluntarily allow a Republican-led legislature to hold her regulatory actions accountable to their oversight.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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