HARRISBURG – Three legislators today in the state Capitol outlined bills they’ve introduced that would hold state regulators accountable.
State Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland), state Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin/Perry) and state Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-Cumberland/Perry) each have introduced legislation that would insert the Legislature into the regulatory process if a regulation would have a fiscal impact of $1 million or more.
While the bills outline different processes, each would require legislative approval for any regulation with a fiscal impact of $1 million or more.
“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 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. “Expensive regulations are just a hidden form of taxation paid by business owners and the customers they serve.”
“My 35 years of experience as a business owner has 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 DiSanto, whose Senate Bill 561 would require the General Assembly to approve major regulations. “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.”
“Reducing the regulatory burden could help keep existing jobs in Pennsylvania and encourage new employers to open here,” said Keefer, whose 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. If a vote is not taken in that time or the regulation is voted down in either chamber, it would not be implemented. “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.”
Carl Marrara, vice president of government affairs with the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Assocaition; Anna McCauslin, deputy state director with Americans for Prosperity in Pennsylvania; Suzanne Stoltenberg, Pennsylvania communications director for the National Federation of Independent Business; and James Broughel, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, attended the news conference to offer their support for the legislation.
The local legislator’s bills each have been introduced and referred to a committee in the House or Senate.