On Wednesday, March 21, the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 221 out of committee. This bill, which is a top priority for the Ohio Chamber, attempts to curtail the burdensome rule and regulatory process faced by businesses in Ohio. Also, the Ohio Small Business Council has weighed in on this piece of legislation and stands in support of the measure.
Senate Bill 221 is comprised of five major points:
- Adds to the definition of what an adverse impact on business can be by stating that the impact of the rule would directly reduce revenue or increase expenses
- Requires that the source document of a new rule can be readily found and inspected without charge
- If the new rule imposes a fee, there must be a justification as to how the fee relates to the cost incurred by the agency
- Allows for the opportunity to request a review of a rule in an expedited manner as opposed to the normal review process
- Instructs state agencies to release internal policies, directives, or instructions to ensure they are not circumventing the rulemaking process
The Ohio Chamber testified in support of this legislation in November of 2017 as well as Ohio Small Business Council member and President of Durable Corporation, Tom Secor. This bill serves as a positive step forward in the rule and regulatory reform process as it puts forth practical changes that will directly benefit businesses and the way they operate on a day-to-day basis. Efforts to combat the arduous rule and regulatory process such as this, as well as the Common Sense Initiative, will continue to promote a healthy business climate in the state of Ohio.
As Senate Bill 221 makes its way to the Ohio Senate floor for a vote and then in the Ohio House of Representatives, it is important that the focus remain on how to create the best environment for businesses to thrive here. Senate Bill 221 does just that and allows for businesses to spend more time providing goods and services to Ohioans and less time filling out paperwork and navigating the maze of bureaucratic red tape.