COLUMBUS—State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) joined Senate President Larry Obhof last week to call for additional reforms to Ohio’s regulatory environment. They were joined by Dr. James Broughel of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who recently completed a study on the number of regulatory restrictions the state imposes.
“Over the years, the often times burdensome regulations in our state have extended beyond what is necessary,” said Peterson. “This is an opportunity to take a step back and really analyze what are necessary protections and what regulations are simply stifling businesses and their growth.”
The Mercatus Center has studied the regulatory environments of 22 states so far as part of its ongoing “State RegData” project. Their study concluded that Ohio is one of the most heavily regulated states they have analyzed, trailing only New York and Illinois, and far surpassing the neighboring states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia, according to Peterson’s press release.
“Unnecessary red tape and regulation is stifling the potential of Ohio’s small businesses, which in turn limits job opportunities for Ohioans,” said Obhof. “The legislature has a responsibility to make sure any rules or regulations created by state government have a specific purpose and intent to protect our citizens and do not create needless barriers to growth and opportunity.”
Obhof and Peterson highlighted the opportunity to reduce what they called red tape bureaucracy while continuing to provide Ohioans with necessary health and safety protections and identified several ways the legislature could consider modernizing Ohio’s Administrative Code and reducing cumbersome regulations, including:
– Tracking and accounting of the total number of restrictions in Ohio;
– Allowing for a more thorough review process of which regulations are effective and which are outdated or duplicative.
– Setting a reduction goal to bring Ohio more in-line with the national average, and consider placing a cap once that goal is achieved.
– Consider eliminating two rules for every new one that is created for the next three years, or until the reduction target is met.
The NFIB, Farm Bureau, Ohio Society of CPAs and others supported the Senate’s call for additional regulatory reform in Ohio.
Senator Bob Peterson represents the 17th District in the Ohio Senate, which encompasses all or part of Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, and Vinton counties. He currently serves as President Pro Tempore of the Ohio Senate. Learn more at www.OhioSenate.gov/Peterson.