Senate Moves Fresh Approach to Providing Regulatory Relief

Ever feel overwhelmed by bureaucratic red tape and government regulations? This week, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 293 in an effort to provide businesses with some regulatory relief. This legislation would require certain state agencies to reduce their regulatory burden on businesses by thirty percent by the end of 2022.

Specifically, the emphasis is on reducing the number of regulatory restrictions, not actual regulations. A regulatory restriction is defined as any of the words “shall”, “must”, “require”, “shall not”, “may not”, or “prohibit” when they appear in the body of a regulation.

While a thirty percent reduction in overall regulatory restrictions may be difficult for some of the agencies, the bill gives them an alternative: if an agency is unable to reach the thirty percent reduction schedule, for every subsequent new regulatory restriction it seeks to implement, it must remove two existing ones.

Currently, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) and the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) do a great job during the implementation of rules, but overall reduction of regulations in our state is needed. This effort is vital to increasing economic competitiveness and driving down barriers of entry for businesses, particularly small businesses.

The Ohio Chamber supported SB 293 as it went through the Ohio Senate and believes that initiatives such as this will only help to improve the economic and regulatory climate in our state. SB 293 passed the Ohio Senate by a vote of 23-9. To learn where your state senator stood on this issue, please see our Free Enterprise Index, which shows you how they voted on this bill and others that are pro-business bills in the 132nd General Assembly.

The legislature is now headed towards their summer recess, but when they return in the fall, the Ohio Chamber will be seeking to move SB 293 through the House expeditiously.