Sweeping Regulatory Reform Bill Passes Ohio Senate

Yesterday, the Ohio Senate voted 24-8 to pass Senate Bill 1; a bill that will bring about much-needed regulatory relief for businesses in the state of Ohio. Previously in late-February, the Ohio Chamber testified in support of the legislation.

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 was made a key vote for the Ohio Chamber and we are hopeful for a quick passage through the Ohio House.