New Life for Missouri Regulatory Reform?

Date: April 04, 2017

Some bills have moved at lightning-fast speed this session—such as the right to work law and House Bill 1194, which corrects the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision that cities and counties can establish their own minimum wages—while others have made slower progress.

One in that category is House Bill 1016, which would move the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board (SBRFB) to the Secretary of State. It’s currently under the Department of Economic Development. HB 1016 is sponsored by Rep. Dan Shaul, while Sen. Caleb Rowden has introduced the measure on the Senate side (SB 544).

The bill is important to making sure small businesses have a fair and thorough regulatory review system in place.

“The Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board is in need of an overhaul,” NFIB/MO State Director Brad Jones said. “The Board feels that they have not adequately received the support that they need from the Department of Economic Development (DED). There is also the problem of the Board reviewing DED, as well as being housed there. Overall, it was felt that putting the Board under a statewide office that was not scrutinized by the Board would be a better option. They are also hopeful that the Secretary of State’s office will be able to provide a minimum amount of support for the Board’s activities.”

The Missouri SBRFB was established in 2004 to solicit input and conduct hearings for any rules proposed by a state agency. The board then provides input about how the proposed rules adversely affect small businesses and make recommendations about regulatory fairness. In 2016, however, SBRFB failed a state audit because it had not received necessary resources or support from the state to fulfill its function. HB 1016 will help correct that.

Additionally, Rep. Justin Hill has sponsored a measure (House Bill 715, the Red Tape Reduction Act) that would establish an Office of Regulatory Management to review and reduce the number of regulations on the books in Missouri. Brad Jones testified on this bill and suggested it could work with the SBRFB. HB 715 is currently with the House Rules Committee. HB 1016 is with the Special Committee on Small Business.

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Missouri

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