Earlier today, the Ohio Chamber lent their support to Senate Bill 1 in Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee. This bill will bring about much-needed regulatory relief for businesses in the state of Ohio.
SB 1 is a reintroduction of SB 293 of the previous General Assembly. 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.
Additionally, this legislation would require certain state agencies to reduce their regulatory burden on businesses by thirty percent by the end of 2022. 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.
This bill certainly appears to be a priority for the Ohio Senate and will most likely move quickly through the Senate. It remains to be seen how the Ohio House will move forward with this bill given that in the previous General Assembly, SB 293 only received one hearing in the House before the legislature finished their work for the year.