In 2011, the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) Office was created to independently evaluate the economic impact of state agency regulations on Ohio businesses and to reduce that impact wherever possible. The foundation of CSI’s work is to ensure that compliance with state regulations is as easy and inexpensive as possible and that proposed regulations facilitate economic growth, are transparent and responsive, and are enforced fairly and consistently. The just-released 2013 Annual Report shows that the CSI staff is continuing to do an effective job of reviewing proposed rules, thoroughly scrutinizing the business impact analyses they receive, and causing agencies to rescind or amend those rules if they would negatively impact Ohio businesses.
The numbers in the report clearly tell the story. Of the 1,543 regulations reviewed by CSI in 2013, 911 regulations were either rescinded (49) or amended (862) by state agencies because of concerns expressed by CSI that were contained and/or discovered in the process of the business impact analysis. That means 59 percent of the proposed regulations were revised toward a more business-friendly outcome through the CSI business impact analysis process.
In addition, the number of comments coming back through CSI’s electronic rule notification system tripled to 1,061. That means more citizens and businesses are interested in proposed state rules and taking the time to comment on them before they are enacted. It is these comments that assist the CSI staff in evaluating the business impact of the rules and can ultimately affect whether and/or how a proposed rule is amended or rescinded. Overzealous regulation is a regular cause of concern for businesses, especially small businesses. We’re glad to see that CSI is producing real results in effort to create a more transparent and common sense regulatory environment that will help improve our economic competitiveness in Ohio.