Small Business says Enough Local Government Micro-Management

Date: February 21, 2018

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LANSING, February 20, 2018 – The state’s leading small-business organization, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), told a House Committee today that small-business owners are fed up with local government micro-management of their businesses.

The message was delivered to the House Commerce and Trade Committee today in response to efforts by some local governments to dictate what an employer can ask on an employment application, something already regulated by the federal and state government.  At the hearing, NFIB testified in support of Senate Bill 353 (sponsored by Sen. John Proos) that would prohibit local units of government from adopting an ordinance or policy regulating information an employer must provide or exclude on an application for employment or during the interview process. The purpose for the legislation is to head off local efforts like the one in the city of Philadelphia that would ban private-sector employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

“Labor laws of this nature are the purview of the state and federal government and should not be micro-managed by local governments seeking to win favor with activist groups and labor organizations,” said NFIB State Director Charles Owens. “While local governance certainly has its place, too many times local governments are using ‘local control’ as an excuse to grow their own bureaucracy with burdensome regulations that duplicate already existing federal and state laws.”

Labor laws of this nature are the purview of the state and federal government and should not be micro-managed by local governments seeking to win favor with activist groups and labor organizations

“Small business can no longer afford to keep up with overlapping local ordinances and rules,” said Owens. “In a recent survey of our small-business members, they supported action by the state Legislature to preempt local governments from setting up their own regulatory program that duplicates or exceeds the requirements of an already existing state or federal regulation.”

Owens said that rules and regulations have a disproportionate impact on smaller companies and that research has shown that this difference can be as much as 36 percent between the costs incurred by small firms when compared with their larger counterparts.

“Senate Bill 353 is common sense legislation that will rein in local governments that seek to develop rules and ordinances stricter than already existing state and federal laws and we look forward to working with you to move this bill forward,” Owens told the Committee.

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