Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Bills Would Require Vote On Regs Costing $1 Million Or More, But Ignore Benefits

Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland), Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin) and Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-Cumberland) announced Wednesday they have each introduced different bills that would require an up or down vote by the General Assembly if a regulation has a fiscal impact of $1 million or more.
[Note: There is no requirement to look at the benefits of a regulation.]
“We want the final say on burdensome regulations to be in the hands of the people Pennsylvanians have elected to represent them in the General Assembly,” said Rep. Rothman, whose House Bill 911 would send the regulations to the House and Senate, assign them to the appropriate committee and require an informational hearing before the regulations would be voted up or down.  (sponsor summary)
“Expensive regulations are just a hidden form of taxation paid by business owners and the customers they serve,” said Rep. Rothman.
“My 35 years of experience as a business owner have shown me that government red tape makes it more difficult to grow a business and create jobs, and I’ve heard the same message repeatedly from other job creators since I’ve been in the Senate,” said Sen. DiSanto, whose Senate Bill 561 would require the General Assembly to approve major regulations.  (sponsor summary)
“Our current regulatory process stifles the economy and vests too much power in unelected government employees and agencies that lack direct accountability to the people. This is a blueprint for regulatory growth and amounts to laws being crafted without the consent of the governed,” said Sen. DiSanto.
“Reducing the regulatory burden could help keep existing jobs in Pennsylvania and encourage new employers to open here,” said Rep. Keefer.  “My bill would shape our Commonwealth into a better, less bureaucratic state, and would enhance the regulatory review system by giving agencies additional incentives to engage the Legislature throughout the process.”
Rep. Keefer’s bill--  House Bill 1237-- would require the Independent Fiscal Office to verify the cost of the regulations and then provide the House and Senate with 30 calendar days or 10 legislative days to vote on the proposal. (sponsor summary)
[Note: There is no similar requirement for the IFO to provide a cost estimate for legislation introduced.]
If a vote is not taken in that time or the regulation is voted down in either chamber, it would not be implemented.
Carl Marrara, vice president of government affairs with the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association; Anna McCauslin, deputy state director with Americans for Prosperity in Pennsylvania;  and Suzanne Stoltenberg, Pennsylvania communications director for the National Federation of Independent Business attended the news conference to offer their support for the legislation.  
James Broughel, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, spoke at a press conference about his related research about the cost of regulations.

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