The Ohio Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require every state agency to cut its rules and regulations by 30 percent over three years in order to encourage economic growth.
Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Sens. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), requires that state agencies “amend or rescind rules identified in its inventory of regulatory restrictions as necessary to reduce the total number of regulatory restrictions by thirty percent.”
“When a reduction of any percentage in regulatory restrictions, whether or not as specified in this section, has been achieved, the state agency may not adopt or maintain regulatory restrictions that would negate the reduction,” the bill adds.
During Wednesday’s Senate session, Roegner noted that there are more than 246,000 restrictions on Ohio’s businesses, making Ohio third worst in the county for regulatory restrictions.
“Although passed with the best of intentions, the accumulation of new laws and new regulations, over time, will slow economic growth. I’m guilty of it as well. We see a need in our district or in the state and we pass a law and then the rules promulgate and over the years it is like sludge in our economic engine,” she said.
“Think about it. Say you want to start a new business. So you sit down to read Ohio’s administrative code, you grab a cup of coffee—well you better get comfortable because there are over 15.2 million words,” Roegner continued. “Reading at 300 words a minute, 40 hours a week, that’s going to take you about 21 weeks to get through it.”
She went on to say that “it is truly a wonder that anyone wants to start a new business with that much red tape to navigate.”
“Let me be clear: the problem is not regulation. It is unnecessary or excessive regulation,” Roegner concluded her remarks. “Senate Bill 1 provides a pathway, a solution, to relieving Ohio of the regulatory albatross and unleashing the economic potential in our great state.”
Greg Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, applauded the Senate for taking up regulatory reform.
“Ohio desperately needs regulatory reform that eliminates unnecessary regulations that strangle private industry and enterprise as part of the state’s broader reform efforts to boost economic growth,” he said Tuesday while testifying on the bill. “If Ohio does not focus its regulations and rules on protecting the public from genuine harm, the state will continue to see slower economic growth and lower prosperity compared to many other states.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by Alexander Smith. CC BY-SA 3.0.