Red Tape Reduction Initiative

Reduce unnecessary rules and regulations, especially those that hurt Oregon’s small businesses.
What is Red Tape?
When the cost to implement a regulation exceeds the benefits to consumers, businesses, and government.

Why Focus on Red Tape?

Reasonable regulations are necessary for an orderly society. But some regulations cost more to administer than they benefit society. Some have unitentional consequnces that hurt businesses.
 
Red tape can be a drain on Oregon's economy hindering the growth of businesses, incomes, family-wage jobs, and tax revenues that would otherwise be available for public services.

How We Measure Red Tape

Oregon’s Administrative Rules contain over 14.8 million words which would take the average person 821 hours to read. The rules contain almost 167,000 restrictive words and phrases such as “shall,” “must,” “may not,” “prohibited,” and “required,” which can signify legal constraints and obligations known as regulatory restrictions.

Some rules and regulations were created decades ago and have never been reviewed or updated. Rules that are no longer effective or which no longer apply should be reviewed, updated, or repealed.

Oregon Regulation Statistics (Feb. 14, 2017)
166,968 restrictions, 14,743,838 words of regulatory text, 821 hours of reading.

You Can Help Reduce Red Tape

Let’s work together to cut unnecessary, outdated and ineffective rules and regulations to help Oregon’s small businesses grow our economy. With your help, we can identify costly regulations and work with state agencies to cut red tape. Tell us if you are struggling with government red tape >​​

How Oregon Compares to Other States

Chart showing Oregon is lower only than New York in number of words in their rules.
Chart showing Oregon is lower only than New York & Florida in number of restrictions in Rules. Other states have less.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What Others are Doing to Reduce Red Tape

British Columbia, Canada has had tremendous success in reducing red tape in recent years. In 2001, British Columbia’s economy was stagnant and had underperformed the Canadian economy for a decade. The province was drowning in red tape, over 330,812 regulations. British Columbia’s approach was to measure to size of government’s regulatory burden and then set a goal to reduce regulations by one third in three years.
By 2004, BC had eliminated 133,570 regulations reducing the regulatory burden on citizens, business and government by 40% to 197,242.

In 2015 the government of Canada followed British Columbia’s lead by approving the Red Tape Reduction Act as a national law.

Oregon should emulate the success of our neighbor to the North to simplify and streamline regulations and eliminate unnecessary red tape by measuring the regulatory burden placed on citizens, businesses and governments and institutionalize a continuous improvement approach by state agencies to regularly review all rules and regulations.
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Cutting Red Tape

Secretary Richardson  
As Oregon’s Secretary of State, I am committed to improving the lives of all Oregonians by simplifying requirements and minimizing the time and cost for citizens and businesses to do business and access government services.
 

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scissors cutting red tape  
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