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Governor Initiates Regulatory Overhaul; Which Rules Would You Change?

Posted by John Regan on Mar 31, 2015 2:09:00 PM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) will support the Baker Administration’s newly announced regulatory reform initiative by collecting information from Bay State employers about regulations that needlessly impede economic growth.

Baker2014AIM President Richard C. Lord said the association has established a Web page that allows employers to report regulations that are inefficient, ineffective or outdated. The association will forward all of the information it receives to state officials as they conducts their yearlong regulatory review.

“The 4,500 employer members of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) unequivocally support regulatory reform. One of the key objectives of AIM’s long-term economic plan, the Blueprint for the Next Century, is for Massachusetts to develop a world-class state regulatory system that ensures the welfare of society in a manner that meets the highest standards for efficiency and predictability,” Lord said 

“AIM has collected a rich library of evidence over the years from employers about regulations that work and those that do not. We expect to add to that body of information and share it with the administration and the Legislature as we work together to make the vision of effective regulation a reality.”

Governor Charles D. Baker signed an executive order today initiating a comprehensive review process for all regulations enforced by the Executive branch and leaving in place the regulatory moratorium announced by the administration earlier this year. The order requires state agencies to ensure that existing regulations are clear and concise and that any newly proposed regulations are measured for their potential impact on businesses of all sizes.

The administration will encourage public input on proposed regulations. Business and competitiveness impact statements will be made available on the commonwealth’s Web site.

Baker identified regulatory reform as an economic priority during a speech to the AIM Executive Forum last November.

“This will be an intensive process that ultimately makes Massachusetts a more efficient and competitive place to live and work, while driving economic growth,” the governor said in a statement today.

Added Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepoere: “We will ensure that all regulations administered by the Executive Department benefit the Commonwealth without undue burdens or costs and serve a legitimate purpose in making Massachusetts a safe, healthy, and effective place to do business.”

AIM’s Blueprint for the Next Century offers several suggestions for improving the state regulatory environment:

  • The governor should appoint an independent ombudsperson to review comments, suggestions and complaints from employers about ineffective state regulations and/or the manner in which those regulations are enforced. The ombudsperson would have the authority to determine which regulations and/or enforcement issues represent real impediments to growth and recommend changes to the Legislature or the executive branch.
  • Encourage regulators and employers to adopt “smart partnerships” to ensure that government-business interactions solve problems instead of propping up bureaucracies.
  • Engage willing employers who are global leaders in productivity and process improvement to streamline the operation of state government agencies. General Electric, an AIM member, provided just such a service for the New York State Highway Department at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo. GE Capital used its expertise in lean process to help the Highway Department reduce the processing time for curb-cut requests from 70 days to three days.

Please contact Brad MacDougall, Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM, bmacdougall@aimnet.org, with questions or comments.

Topics: Business Regulation, Regulation, Charlie Baker

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