June 01, 2017

Op-Ed Column: Rules rule, or do they?


By Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn

I’m sure we can all remember a rule or two from when we were growing up that seemed completely unnecessary. Is it really going to be the end of the world if I put my feet on the couch? Do I absolutely have to blow my nose only in the bathroom?

Chances are, these rules were put in place by well-meaning parents and teachers who were attempting to make us grow into contributing members of society. But the truth is some of these rules were excessive and unnecessarily put up roadblocks.

When Governor Greitens took office, he took aim at reducing the amount of burdensome and unnecessary rules via Executive Order 17-03. In this executive order, the Governor halted the addition of any new rules between Jan. 10, 2017 and Feb. 28, 2017, and called for a thorough review of every state agency rule currently in existence. In accordance with the executive order, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, along with other state departments, will ensure that all of its rules are essential to the health, safety or welfare of Missourians, that the costs of the regulation do not outweigh their benefits, based on a cost benefit analysis; outline a process and schedule to measure the effectiveness of the regulation; determine if less restrictive alternatives have been considered and found less desirable than the regulation; ensure the regulation is based on sound, reasonably available scientific, technical, economic, and other relevant information; and the regulation does not unduly and adversely affect Missouri citizens or customers of the State, or the competitive environment in Missouri.

By eliminating rules that, even though well-intentioned, may be overly burdensome, ineffective and restrictive, Missouri can become a more productive and thriving state.

As citizens of Missouri, farmers and ranchers, young people in agriculture, landowners and rural community leaders, your voice is essential to this conversation. From June 1-Aug. 31, the department will be collecting comments on its rules, and we encourage you to let your voice be heard.

You can view the rules and provide your input by filling out the online form at Agriculture.Mo.Gov, mailing in your comments to P.O. Box 630, Jefferson City, MO 65109 or faxing your comments to (573) 751-1784. To learn more, go to Agriculture.Mo.Gov/rulereview