BOISE – Gov. Brad Little announced today Russ Barron will lead the recently restructured Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses, the state agency responsible for administering licenses for dozens of professions and businesses in Idaho.

“Russ shares my desire to keep Idaho regulations as streamlined as possible. His strong leadership skills and track record in efficiently managing government entities make him a great fit for this important post,” Little said.

Barron has served as executive director of the Idaho Board of Nursing since June of 2019. Barron worked for the Idaho Department of Welfare for more than 20 years, holding the positions of director for two years, deputy director for three years, and administrator of the Division of Welfare for nine years. Barron received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, and his Masters of Business Administration degree from Boise State University.

“I appreciate the opportunity Governor Little has entrusted to me to lead the Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses and help fulfill his vision of regulatory excellence in Idaho. All the professions involved with this new organization are extremely important to Idaho citizens and the economy. I look forward to working with all the boards and their stakeholders to help ensure the boards’ missions are achieved through collaboration, exceptional service to customers, and the appropriate amount of regulation,” Barron said.

Little signed an executive order in June to shrink the size of state government. Executive Order 2020-10 consolidated 11 separate agencies into the new Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses, a move that will lead to efficiencies and result in better service at a lower cost for Idaho license holders.

The executive order helps ensure Idaho keeps its status as the least regulated state in the country – a title Idaho achieved by working with legislators, agencies, and the public during Governor Little’s first year as governor. Idaho cut and simplified 75-percent of rules in a matter of months.

With Little’s Zero-Based Regulation executive order earlier this year, which forces a routine review of rule chapters annually, Idaho regulations will remain streamlined, user-friendly, and easy to understand moving forward.

“When we reduce regulatory friction, good jobs follow – something we need now more than ever before,” Little said.

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