COLUMBUS — State Senators Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) and Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) announced Wednesday at the Statehouse their legislation that they say will eliminate red tape by reducing burdensome regulations, bringing Ohio more in line with national averages.
The bill aims to address concerns raised at a recent press conference, where the Mercatus Center shared the results of their study of the regulatory environments of 22 states as part of its ongoing “State RegData” project. They concluded that with 246,852 restrictions, 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.
“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 separate the necessary protections that maintain health, safety and fairness from the regulations that are unnecessarily stifling businesses and their growth.”
Peterson cited a number of unnecessary regulations he has faced in his own professional career as a farmer, as well as concerns that constituents have shared with him.
Provisions of the bill will require a 10 percent reduction of regulatory restrictions each year for three years by the agencies. If agencies are unable to meet the 30 percent requirement, a “2-for-1” strategy would be implemented where two regulations must be eliminated for each new regulation created.
“It is clear that Ohio is not doing everything it can to foster a pro-growth regulatory environment,” said McColley. “The time and money that a business owner spends complying with unnecessary and burdensome restrictions will be better spent expanding their business, increasing productivity and creating new jobs.”
Additionally, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review would be required to release an annual report to inventory current and new restrictions across the state. The report will contain data from each state agency outlining the regulatory reductions for each agency and the percentage by which those agencies have reduced their regulatory footprint.
“Unnecessary red tape and regulation are stifling the potential of Ohio’s small businesses, which in turn limits job opportunities for Ohioans,” said Senate President Larry 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.”