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Pickett’s Small Business Proposal Advances in House
HARRISBURG – Legislation that seeks to help the private sector create jobs by making sure state agencies consider the impact of new regulations on small businesses was today reported out of the House State Government Committee, said Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), author of the proposal.

Pickett’s legislation, House Bill 1349, would require state agencies to consider the impact of proposed regulations on small businesses. If a negative impact exists, the state agencies would be required to offer alternative requirements to meet the intent of the regulation.

Small businesses are often defined as those employing less than 100 people but this legislation would follow federal definitions of small businesses. In Pennsylvania, that includes nearly half of the private-sector workforce.

“Many times, state agency personnel are not aware of a potential impact upon the small business community,” said Pickett, a former small business owner. “The proposed regulations may be as simple as additional paperwork, but for a small business owner with limited staff, the process of that extra paperwork could contribute to the overall success or failure of the business.”

She noted that according to the National Federation of Independent Business, the cost of regulations to a small business is about 60 percent more than the cost to a large employer.

“The House Majority Policy Committee has held six public hearings this summer on the cost of doing business in Pennsylvania with a specific focus on regulatory burdens,” Pickett said. “We have heard from numerous business owners and economic development experts that regulatory hurdles, in the form of paperwork and other government mandates, are keeping private-sector companies from hiring. That hurts everyone.”

Under House Bill 1349, agencies must inform the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) of the following when submitting regulatory proposals: 

        • The type of small business that would be affected by the proposed regulation. 
        • Any financial, economic or social impacts on small businesses. 
        • An economic impact statement to include estimated number of small businesses 
          affected; cost of compliance to the regulation; probable effect on impacted small 
          businesses; and a description of any less intrusive or less costly alternative. 
        • Alternatives to small businesses that would still achieve the effect of the proposed 

“More than anything, this legislation seeks to give small businesses a greater voice when it comes to state regulations,” Pickett said. “Most small business owners don’t know about the regulations until after they’ve been adopted and implemented – too late to have any type of meaningful input on the proposed regulations.”

House Bill 1349 also would call for small businesses to be included on the existing list of stakeholders on economic impact statements.

Pickett noted that her legislation was introduced in a previous session and garnered overwhelming, bipartisan support of both chambers before being vetoed by the former governor.

“Government shouldn’t be the entity responsible for creating jobs, but it shouldn’t be throwing up additional hurdles to prevent businesses from succeeding,” Pickett said. “This legislation seeks to implement more consideration and flexibility while still accomplishing the same goals.”

The measure now goes to the full House for consideration.

State Representative Tina Pickett
110th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Jennifer Keaton 
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