Bill Protecting Oklahoma Small Business from First Time Federal Paperwork Fines Clears Committee

Date: March 13, 2020

Sen. Lankford's HELP Act Passes out of Committee in D.C.

NFIB is excited to announce Oklahoma Senator James Lankford’s bill that would protect small businesses from certain government fines passed the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee in Washington, D.C.

The bill, the HELP for Small Business Act, will, in many circumstances, waive the civil fines for first-time paperwork violations by small businesses. Small business owners consistently report that excessive government regulation and paperwork as serious problems. According to a recent NFIB survey, “unreasonable government regulations” was their second biggest problem, and “federal paperwork” ranked as their 12th biggest problem.

In a different NFIB survey, almost one-in-ten small business owners reported they had been fined, sued, or penalized for a regulatory violation in the last three years.

NFIB State Director in Oklahoma, Jerrod Shouse, thanked Senator Lankford for his work on the legislation. “Senator Lankford has been a tireless advocate for small business regulatory fairness and reform.  On behalf of NFIB, I thank him for introducing and advancing this common-sense legislation, which waives civil fines for first-time paperwork violations.  Navigating the local, state, and federal bureaucracy can be overwhelming for small business owners.  This legislation ensures that minor paperwork errors won’t cost small business owners valuable resources that they could instead invest in their business and employees.”

Senator Lankford talked about the bill at NFIB’s recent Small Business Day at the Capitol. The Senator told NFIB members that he proposed the bill after hearing the same story from many Oklahoma small business owners: there are so many rules and regulations, they can’t keep track of all of them and often have no idea that they are not in compliance.

Here’s the problem: unlike big corporations, small business owners don’t have a team of experts to make sure they’re in compliance. Small business owners usually file regulatory paperwork themselves. By removing the threat of significant files for preliminary paperwork violations, the HELP for Small Business Act would ease the burden for small business owners who are doing their best to navigate in the complex world of federal regulatory compliance.

Related Content: Small Business News | Oklahoma

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