Tennessee governor issues 90-day regulatory freeze

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) issued Executive Order 5 on February 1, 2019, preventing state executive agencies from filing new regulations with the secretary of state’s office for 90 days.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Over the course of the 90-day regulatory freeze, the governor’s office stated that the executive branch aims to “develop a framework to better assess the costs and benefits of imposing a new regulation.” Tennessee does not currently have a cost-benefit analysis framework in place for administrative regulations, according to an analysis by the Tennessee Municipal League.
Executive agencies can seek an exemption from the governor to file emergency regulations that impact the health, safety or welfare of Tennessee residents. The order also allows pending regulations approved under Lee’s predecessor, former Governor Bill Haslam (R), to take effect as scheduled.
Haslam issued a similar regulatory freeze for 45 days in 2011.