By Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Erie)
The success of our business community has a direct correlation with the success of our state. When businesses are expanding, adding jobs and contributing more to the local and state economy, it improves the lives of families all across the state. That’s why we focus so much effort on making Pennsylvania a business-friendly state: because the trickle-down effect is so beneficial to each individual.
In speaking with various business owners over the years about what state government can do to help them, I have heard again and again about the need to reduce the amount of regulations placed on them.
Many of the regulations are seen as more of a hinderance to business growth and success than a help. Although many regulations are in place to protect employees and the public and make sure businesses are conducting themselves in an appropriate manner, many others are repetitive, counterproductive or have outlasted their primary purpose.
Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives took action on this issue and passed a package of bills designed to reduce the sheer number of state regulations and to improve the state’s permitting process. They are as follows:
• House Bill 209
would review and, if needed, repeal unnecessary statutes and regulations. The legislation would also establish a rule that for every new regulation proposed by a department, two existing regulations must be offered for repeal.
• House Bill 1237
would establish an enhanced review process for major regulations that impose a substantial cost burden on communities, businesses and/or the Commonwealth.
• House Bill 1959
would make Pennsylvania’s permitting process more transparent by requiring all state agencies to make available on their websites a complete list of permits which the agency administers. The legislation would also create a tracking system that asks the agency to contact permit applicants if the appropriate paperwork is lacking in any way.
• House Bill 1960
would promote collaboration between business and government by requiring each state agency to appoint a regulatory compliance officer.
Reducing the number of regulations, investigating their impact from a financial perspective, and making the state’s permitting process more accessible and transparent will all help support entrepreneurial efforts in the Commonwealth.
By instituting these types of regulatory reforms, we can better position the Commonwealth for future economic success.
These bills are now before the state Senate for consideration. It is my hope that we can get these bills signed into law and start helping, instead of hindering, the success of businesses here in Pennsylvania.
Representative Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman