Pennsylvania’s business community has long protested against an onslaught of regulations from bureaucrats at all levels of government that make it harder to start and complete projects and grow the economy. Last week, PA Chamber Government Affairs Director Kevin Sunday spoke at a press conference in support of a package of bills that aims to reduce regulatory burdens at the state level.
According to state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, who organized the press conference, the bills were introduced in light of the “Regulatory Overreach Report,” which was compiled following a series of public hearings where employers, organizations and experts on regulatory policy all reiterated the negative impact that overzealous regulation has had on private sector growth and job creation. The package of bills would accomplish several reforms in terms of cutting through regulatory red tape, not the least of which would be ensuring that the General Assembly – not agency bureaucrats – have more authority to set regulatory policy. In addition, the bills would establish the Independent Office of the Repealer to review existing regulations; process and deliver recommendations to elected officials; require that lawmakers must approve any economically significant regulation (one with an impact of $1 million or more) for it to go into effect; and improve wait times for what is now a lengthy permit approval process.
At the press conference, Sunday stressed that regulatory policies carry the full weight of the law and should not be set by agencies with no stake in their outcome. He also applauded lawmakers for working to re-establish the legislative branch as the primary branch of government for policy making. In a statement issued the same day as the press conference, Sunday also urged Congress to pass the Regulatory Accountability Act and reduce regulatory burdens at the federal level.
“As federal mandates continue to place a major strain on both business and state and local governments, we also applaud Congress for its continued consideration of the Regulatory Accountability Act … to obligate agencies to take the most cost-effective regulatory path to achieve the state policy goals of the legislative branch and to bring more accountability and transparency to the rulemaking process,” Sunday stated.
The bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act has already passed the U.S. House and has been reported out of a Senate committee; the PA Chamber is encouraging Senators Toomey and Casey to vote for this important legislation.