LANSING, MI (May 17, 2023) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the state and nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, voiced its disappointment and concern over the passage today of Senate Bill 14, a bill to repeal a prohibition on state agencies promulgating rules stricter than those at the federal level without providing a rationale for such action.
“When this legislation was passed in 2018, NFIB worked with the sponsor and other stakeholders to find a compromise that provided for flexibility to address Michigan specific issues that may need more nuanced regulations,” said Amanda Fisher, state director for NFIB Michigan. “The extra steps that need to be taken by the departments under the current Act are not prohibitive but work to ensure that new regulations have been thoroughly vetted.”
Fisher pointed to a U.S. Chamber cost study indicating that federal regulations alone on small businesses (firms that employ fewer than 50 people) averaged $12,000 per employee in 2017 – up from $10,585 in 2010. The amount per employee continues to increase as more state-specific regulations are added.
“Small business does not deny the need for some regulations. But often times, they are duplicative, nonsensical, expensive, and overburdensome without achieving desired outcomes,” continued Fisher. “Unfortunately, Senate Bill 14 takes power from the people’s elected representatives, the Legislature, and gives it to unelected bureaucrats with no transparency or accountability to those citizens they are supposed to be serving.”
Fisher instead urged adoption of SJR C, a joint resolution to change the Michigan Constitution to require all administrative rules to be approved by the Michigan Legislature. “Public policy should be overseen by elected officials, not made by a ‘shadow legislature’ in windowless government offices,” concluded Fisher.
For 80 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.