Bill introduced late in session aims to provide regulatory relief for small businesses

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A bill has been introduced that would require state agencies to assess the costs of regulationson small businesses while providing more transparency in the rule-making process.

Sponsored by State Rep. Charles Postles, R-Milford, House Bill 167 would mandate that state agencies adopting or amending regulations conduct an economic impact statement to be published as part of the proposal’s public notice process.

Provisions include:

  • – Identifying the type and number of small businesses subject to the proposed regulation.
  • The projected reporting, record keeping, and other administrative costs required for compliance.
  • The probable effect on impacted small businesses.
  • And a description of any less intrusive or less costly alternative methods of
    achieving the goal of the proposed regulation.
  • Within four years of the bill’s enactment, state agencies would need to review all existing small business regulations to determine if they should be amended or repealed to minimize the economic impact. All regulations promulgated after the law takes effect would be reviewed every five years.

“We all recognize the need for regulations to ensure public safety, protect the environment, and other worthy objectives,” Rep. Postles said. “At the same time, government officials need to recognize that ineffective or needlessly expensive regulations can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to a business’s expenses. The collective impact of these costs can affect competitiveness, prevent hiring, and lead to business failure.”

State Rep. Michael Smith, R-Pike Creek Valley, a co-sponsor of the new bill, said the measure would require the government to live up to its responsibility. “This bill would require agencies to do what they should be doing already, ensuring that the regulations they are imposing on small businesses are needed, effective, and achieve their intended goals without wasting taxpayer dollars or a business’s limited resources.”

The bill was sent to the House Administration Committee.

The legislation has no Democrats as co-sponsors and comes late in the session.

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