Maryland has less red tape than neighboring states, according to a recent analysis from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and will soon have even less.
The Mercatus study found that the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) has a total of 9.7 million words, and 121,741 of them are regulatory restrictions—including the words or phrases “shall,” “must,” “may not,” “prohibited,” and “required.” And while this isn’t an insignificant amount of regulation, it’s also less than other states nearby, The Baltimore Sun reported. Pennsylvania’s regulatory code has 153,000 restrictions; Virginia’s has 133,000; and West Virginia has nearly 126,000.
One explanation for this is likely Gov. Hogan’s focus on regulatory reform. After taking office, Gov. Hogan launched a regulatory reform commission, which has identified numerous problematic or redundant regulations that have been altered or eliminated. And in late December 2017, Gov. Hogan announced he would streamline, clarify, modernize, or repeal 657 more.
At that time, Gov. Hogan also issued an executive order that requires state agencies to use guidelines adopted by the Advisory Council on the Impact of Regulations on Small Businesses. These guidelines help agencies estimate the cost of compliance and the economic impact of regulations on small companies.