May 15, 2018

Lessons from NJ’s Problem-Plagued Bid to Cut Red Tape

James Broughel

Research Fellow

President Trump has made waves for slashing red tape. His administration claims it has ditched 22 regulations for each new significant rule it put in place, and some observers think that has helped the economy. Well, it turns out New Jersey has been cutting tape, too — since even before Trump became president. Alas, it’s progress on that score is questionable. New York and other states can learn from Trenton’s experience.

In 2010, after taking office, then-Gov. Chris Christie put a temporary freeze on new rules. Later, his lieutenant governor ordered a comprehensive review of the state’s regulatory environment. His reforms — perhaps overshadowed by his larger-than-life personality and later by his relationship with Trump — were a two-term priority.

As part of the review, red-tape cutters ID’d a number of wacky, out-of-date rules and laws: One prohibited milk producers from offering coupons. Another banned certain farm vehicles from operating on Sundays and holidays.

Continue reading