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Pickett Says Regulatory Impact Bill Is A Win for Small Business
HARRISBURG – Small businesses in Pennsylvania scored a victory today as legislation that gives them a seat at the table when discussing state regulations is on its way to the governor to be signed into law, said Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), author of the landmark proposal.

House Bill 1349 unanimously passed the Senate on June 19 and the House agreed to the Senate’s changes earlier today. Gov. Tom Corbett has indicated he will sign the bill.

“The complexity of state regulations, along with the undue hardships that sometimes follow many regulatory mandates, hamper the success of small businesses to compete in the business world, and it is time that the voice of small businesses be considered when forming regulations,” said Pickett, a former small business owner. “This legislation gives small businesses a seat at the table so their input and experience are considered when regulations are drafted, debated and approved. This type of input is valuable to improve our business climate in Pennsylvania and attract more job creators.”

House Bill 1349 ensures that government agencies consider the impact new regulations could have on small business when new regulations are being created. This allows the small business community to have input into the proposed regulations and communicate to state regulators about any potential negative impacts. The cost of regulations to a small business is about 60 percent more than the cost to a large employer.

The overall intent of House Bill 1349 is to help the private sector create jobs by considering the impact proposed regulations have 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.

“Ensuring that we have the proper regulations in place to protect the public is an important part of our role in state government, but we must also achieve a reasonable balance to ensure that the benefit of the regulation isn’t outweighed by unreasonable cost, bureaucratic red tape or redundancy,” she said. “Instead, this legislation allows a business to be given more flexibility in meeting paperwork deadlines or submitting paperwork electronically instead of through the mail.”

Pickett emphasized that her bill will only apply to new regulations and not those that have already started through the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) process or those dealing with public health and safety, namely those with respect to environmental standards from Marcellus Shale drilling.

Under House Bill 1349, agencies must inform 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 regulation.

Among those to benefit from the bill, Pickett said, would be small family-owned farms, which must be considered when the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture seeks to implement new regulations. This would allow them to have the same input as larger corporate farms.

She also noted that this legislation brings Pennsylvania in line with other states that are giving small businesses greater input in terms of regulatory changes. Forty-five other states have implemented similar measures in the past decade.

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