Common Sense Initiative Office Releases Mid-Year Report

Since its creation in 2011, the Common Sense Initiative Office (CSI) has been reviewing agency rules to ensure that a balance exists between regulations necessary for the “health and safety of Ohio’s citizens and their impacts on business growth and development.”

Each year CSI produces an annual report as well as a mid-year report highlighting their activity and effectiveness.  The mid-year report includes the core statistics that the office tracks to provide stakeholders with a snapshot of what they have been accomplishing.  For the first half of 2017, CSI reviewed 1,515 rules, up from 1,147 the year before.  Arguably, the most impactful statistic is that of rules being amended or rescinded.  According to the mid-year report, 55% of rules that CSI reviewed were amended or rescinded by agencies.  This indicates that the office has been firm with agencies after they have identified issues or concerns with certain rules that have been filed.

It is also notable that more than half of the rule packages reviewed by CSI were completed in fewer than 30 days.  Given the fact that the office reported receiving 454 stakeholder comments from January through June, it is clear that they are aggressive and timely in their approach.  Business owners like having certainty, so not having to wait to see how something may impact their business is extremely valuable to them.

The Ohio Small Business Council (OSBC) applauds CSI for improving the regulatory environment in Ohio.  In fact, OSBC has proposed expanding the office’s role so that potentially harmful rules and regulations undergo even closer scrutiny.  OSBC’s recommendations to accomplish this are incorporated into recently introduced rule reform legislation, SB 221.