Although they are an important component of a strong economy, low taxes are not the only thing that promotes business growth and job creation. Another critical piece of the puzzle is a regulatory code that is fair, responsible and not overly burdensome.
Five years ago, the state legislature passed legislation that created the Common Sense Initiative (CSI), whose motivation was to take another look at Ohio’s regulatory structure and update or eliminate rules that are unnecessary or overly burdensome. I was proud to stand with many of my colleagues in the House to support the legislation because I believed it was one piece among many that was needed to help Ohio’s economy rebound.
Of course, some regulation is necessary. But the more efficient and consistent those regulations are, the easier it is for businesses to comply and expand their operations. That was the primary mission behind CSI, and I believe that mission has certainly paid major dividends on our state’s business climate.
Just in the past four years, CSI has reviewed nearly 8,000 rules and regulations that impact businesses of all sizes. Of those rules, more than half have been revised to make them simpler to comply with. Others have been eliminated altogether. Again, with efficiency being among the most important objectives of this program, a lot can be done to streamline, consolidate or rescind existing regulations.
The most recent CSI report was released last month, and it highlighted some of the progress that was made over the past year in particular. In 2015, CSI reviewed more than 2,000 rules, with 65 percent of them being amended or rescinded. Not all regulations that undergo review are changed, but I always think it is a good thing for government to consistently review the impact that its policies have on real people. Opening up the process to public comment—which the CSI promotes—is a tremendous asset in seeing and hearing those real-world results.
I applaud Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor for the work she has done to initiate, maintain and oversee the Common Sense Initiative. Our state’s business climate is much stronger because of it.
Cliff Rosenberger is the Ohio House Speaker.