May 19, 2017 (Lansing) – The state’s leading small business organization, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), said that Michigan small business owners are overwhelmed with regulations and today applauded action by the state legislature to “end the regulatory avalanche”. The organization made the announcement after the state House passed HB 4205 yesterday that would put limits on the ability of state agencies to promulgate rules in Michigan that are stricter than existing or recommended federal rules.
“Government regulations occur at the federal, state, and local level and have become overwhelming for small businesses that do not have the resources to keep up”, said NFIB State Director Charlie Owens. “While we may agree that some regulation is desirable to protect the public and promote a level playing field for business competition, the regulatory burden at all levels of government is out of control.”
Owens said that the bill would still allow a state agency to develop a rule stricter than a federal standard if they were authorized to do so by state statute, or if the agency determines that the preponderance of the evidence establishes a need to exceed the federal standard.
“Opponents like to cite the case of the Flint water situation as a reason why this bill should not be passed, but the legislation recognizes these special situations and provides an avenue for an agency to establish a more stringent rule,” said Owens. “The bottom line is that this bill returns oversight authority to the elected legislature and addresses the problem of rules being manipulated in the agency’s rule process so that they do not reflect the original intent of the law or the legislature that passed them.”
“The current regulatory burden has stifled expansion, profit, and job creation and there are more regulations coming out of government at all levels than ever before,” said NFIB State Director Charlie Owens.
The bill now moves on to the state Senate for further action.
Owens added that NFIB is working closely with the Trump administration to address the burden of regulations at the federal level.