Research prompts Ohio Senate to seek 30% regulatory cut

Written on Mar 23, 2018

Provided by Hannah News Service

The Senate will consider setting a reduction target for regulatory restrictions and instituting a rule to limit growth in rules, President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, said Wednesday at a press conference where he shared the stage with a researcher who highlighted Ohio's relatively high number of regulatory restrictions.

Obhof said he's considering a 30 percent reduction target, instituted over a period of a few years, as well as replication of policies instituted by President Trump and the Canadian province of British Columbia to mandate removal of two regulations for every new one written. Obhof said he'd also like to take efforts to ensure Ohio has an accurate count and catalogue of its existing regulatory codes, as well as institute a more thorough review process for rules.

Those proposals were among examples of regulatory reduction efforts elsewhere in the country that were shared by James Broughel, a research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, who is using computerized text analysis to quantify the scope of regulatory restrictions in states. The software measures the total word count of regulations and also identifies the number of restrictions by recognizing words such as "shall" and "must" within administrative codes.

With more than 20 states' codes so analyzed, Ohio ranks third in the number of regulatory restrictions, with more than 246,000, behind only Illinois' nearly 260,000 and New York’s 307,000-plus. Neighboring Pennsylvania has tens of thousands fewer, while Ohio outstrips Michigan and Kentucky each by more than 100,000. Arizona has the fewest restrictions of states analyzed by Mercatus at just under 64,000.

OSCPA President and CEO Scott Wiley, CAE, said the proposals are consistent with the Society’s efforts to improve Ohio’s business climate.

"CPAs work closely with Ohio business owners and have seen firsthand the negative ripple effect excessive regulations and related reporting can have on a company’s bottom line,” Wiley said. “Complying with burdensome rules that don’t serve a reasonable public purpose cost a business time and money – resources that are much better spent growing their business and creating jobs. OSCPA supports the Ohio Senate’s leadership in further cutting regulatory red tape."

The proposals are also supported by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Farm Bureau and the Buckeye Institute.

The analysis found the Ohio Lottery Commission imposes the most restrictions of any agency, with more than 30,000, followed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency with more than 28,000. Chemical manufacturing, food manufacturing, and animal production and aquaculture were the industries subject to the most restrictions.

Broughel said the scope of Ohio's regulatory restrictions matters because of economic research showing the relationship between regulations and rates of economic growth.

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