HARRISBURG (March 13, 2018) – The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee this morning gave a thumbs up to a series of regulatory reform bills. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said if the package of bills is approved by the full General Assembly, it will help eliminate red tape for thousands of Pennsylvania small businesses. NFIB applauded Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) for shepherding the bills along to a full House vote.
“Small businesses frequently say they could grow bigger and hire more workers if only the government didn’t get in the way with costly, time-consuming regulations that don’t seem to have much to do with safety and health,” said Kevin Shivers, executive state director of NFIB. “We have seen the Trump Administration in Washington get rid of many burdensome, unnecessary regulations, and it has created a surge in business growth. We hope Pennsylvania policymakers follow that successful formula.”
Two bills, now before the full House would give the General Assembly the duty to approve any new regulations that cost the state more than $1-million (HB 1237), and the ability to repeal a current regulation with the approval of the governor (HB 1792). Another bill would create an Office of the Repealer to recommend repeal, modification, or revision of current regulations, and require two regulations be repealed for every new regulation proposed (HB 209).
One bill would require state agencies to have a Regulatory Compliance Officer work collaboratively with the regulated community, issue advisory opinions on how to comply with regulations, and allow a business that follows that advice not to be penalized (HB1960). The final bill in the package (HB 1959) requires agencies to post permit information online so the public could track progress, final approval, and the reason for rejection. Delays of more than 30 days would have to be outsourced to third-party review.
“Pennsylvania’s economic growth is woefully anemic, and job growth reports out Friday show our state way behind the nation,” said NFIB Executive State Director Kevin Shivers. “Small businesses are buried under an avalanche of regulations, and this legislative effort should help. We encourage the full House and the Senate to pass this regulatory reform package.”
NFIB thanked the House sponsors including Rep. Kristin Phillips Hill, Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, Rep. Brian Ellis, Rep. Dawn Keefer and Rep. Greg Rothman.