COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) spoke enthusiastically about Senate Bill 1 Wednesday morning at an “off-the-record” meeting of center-right groups, but his office gave The Ohio Star express permission to share his presentation.
Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) was created to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses in Ohio. It is sponsored by State Sens. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson). It passed the Senate on May 8 and had its first hearing in the House State and Local Government Committee, chaired by State Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster), on Wednesday, June 12.
According to the analysis of the version that passed the Ohio Senate, SB 1 “requires each state agency to reduce the regulatory restrictions contained in its rules by 30% by 2022, according to a schedule and criteria set forth in the bill.” The schedule requires state agencies to cut regulations by 10 percent each year in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The Mercatus Center analyzed the regulatory burdens among the states and found that Ohio is third worst in the country. In testimony before the Senate, the center revealed that Ohio had 246,852 regulatory restrictions in 2018. Only New York and Illinois had more. The group summarized Ohio’s condition in three main points in its testimony before the Ohio Senate:
- Ohio has a significant amount of regulation on its books, both in absolute terms and relative to other US states.
- The accumulation of unnecessary regulations can be a drag on economic growth and prosperity in a state and can even weaken the effectiveness of regulations that are justified to protect health, safety, and the environment.
- Creating a budget, or inventory, system for regulations, as is being proposed under the SB1 legislation before this committee, is a way to help the Ohio economy grow, make the state a more attractive place to do business, and encourage recurring systematic looks back at the thousands of existing regulations affecting Ohio residents.
“Unnecessary red tape stifles the potential of Ohio’s job creators and limits employment opportunities for Ohioans,” said Obhof during Wednesday’s meeting. “The Legislature has a responsibility to make sure any rules or regulations created by state government have a specific purpose and intent to protect our citizens and do not create needless barriers to growth and opportunity.”
The two Senate sponsors of SB 1 also shared their thoughts about the bill with The Ohio Star.
“As lawmakers, it is our duty to put in place ideal policies for economic success and job growth in our state,” McColley said. “Overly burdensome regulations are a barrier to that end, and are clearly limiting opportunities for many of Ohio’s businesses. This is why I am glad to see this legislation passed in the Senate as one of its top priorities, and am hopeful for swift consideration in the House.”
“Although laws are passed with the best of intentions, the accumulation of new regulations over time slows economic growth,” Roegner added. “It is like sludge in our economic engine. SB 1 provides a pathway for Ohio to remove the regulatory albatross and become a more efficient state.”
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