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Policy Hearing Reveals Weaknesses in Regulatory Process, Pickett Says
4/29/2011

In efforts to help businesses prosper in the Commonwealth and strengthen the economy, the House Majority Policy Committee held a public hearing this week on the weaknesses within the state’s regulatory process, said Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), a member of the committee. 

“This hearing brought to light many of the challenges our businesses and industries are facing when it comes to interaction with state government. As a former small business owner, I can understand and empathize with their situation,” Pickett said. “I am hopeful that with a new administration in Harrisburg, that some of these matters can be resolved so that we can strengthen our economy and help businesses create jobs for our hard-working families.” 

The hearing featured testimony from several employers on the excessive regulations that stifle job growth and economic development in Pennsylvania. Those who testified at Tuesday’s hearing spoke at length about how regulatory standards often are discouraging to potential entrepreneurs and job creators. 

In fact,  Kevin Shivers, Pennsylvania State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said that it can cost a small business as much as $74 per hour just to complete the necessary tax and financial paperwork to operate in the state. 

“We heard from business owners and employers who are often discouraged by the time it takes for a simple permit to complete a job or to open a new business,” Pickett said. “The regulatory process is necessary to ensure health, welfare and safety – and easing regulations should never compromise those standards -- but sometimes, regulations can be excessively rigid and time consuming. We need to take a look to see what regulations can be eased without jeopardizing the public.” 

From testimony gathered at this hearing, recommendations are moving forward to develop policies to simplify the tax code, allow greater flexibility with the regulatory process and streamline application processes, Pickett said. 

Pickett has sponsored House Bill 1349 to improve the regulatory review process for small businesses in Pennsylvania by giving small business owners a seat at the table when state agencies develop proposed regulations.  

Pickett believes that by listening to small businesses, state agencies can ensure that small business resources are used for hiring new employees and making new investments instead of paying for new burdensome regulations. This bill mirrors legislation that passed the General Assembly with wide bipartisan support twice, but was vetoed by former Gov. Ed Rendell. 

“Input from small businesses into the regulatory process will allow for an improved working relationship between regulators and job creators to protect important public policy such as higher environmental quality, greater travel safety, better workplace conditions, and increased family financial security,” she said. 

Testimony from Tuesday’s hearing can be found online at PAGOPPolicy.com, along with a schedule of future hearings and other initiatives the committee is advancing. 

State Representative Tina Pickett
110th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Jennifer Keaton
jkeaton@pahousegop.com
717.705.2094
RepPickett.com
Facebook.com/RepPickett

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