COLUMBUS—State Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) this week called for additional reforms to Ohio’s regulatory environment. They were joined by Dr. James Broughel of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who recently completed a study on the number of regulatory restrictions the state imposes.
The Mercatus Center has studied the regulatory environments of 22 states so far as part of its ongoing “State RegData” project. Their study concluded that Ohio is one of the most heavily regulated states they have analyzed, trailing only New York and Illinois, and far surpassing the neighboring states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia.
“Unnecessary red tape and regulation is stifling the potential of Ohio’s small businesses, which in turn limits job opportunities for Ohioans,” said Obhof. “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.”
McColley and Obhof highlighted the opportunity to reduce red tape bureaucracy while continuing to provide Ohioans with necessary health and safety protections. They identified several ways the legislature could consider modernizing Ohio’s Administrative Code and reducing cumbersome regulations, including:
McColley also recently introduced Senate Bill 255, legislation that would reform Ohio's burdensome occupational licensing process, which has resulted in Ohioans spending hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of dollars to earn a license to begin their career.
“We owe it to our constituents to ensure that it is as simple and painless as possible to start a rewarding career," said McColley. "It is time we take a very critical look at the instances in which we require Ohioans to seek a permission slip from Columbus to earn a living, and Senate Bill 255 will help break down these administrative hurdles.”
The NFIB, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Society of CPAs and others supported the Senate's call for additional regulatory reform in Ohio. Their statements can be found here.
Yesterday's press conference and presentation by the Mercatus Center is archived on The Ohio Channel. The Mercatus study "A Snapshot of Ohio Regulation in 2018" can be found here.