Utah regulation reform is a positive for local businesses

Monday , March 06, 2017 - 5:30 AM1 comment

REP. BRAD WILSON, special to the Standard-Examiner

As the legislative session winds down, I’ve been reflecting on the efficiency and breadth of the issues Utah’s Legislature is able to address in just 45 short days. I enjoy our part-time legislative process as it allows me and my fellow legislators to ensure that when the session ends, we go home to answer to our constituents, stay responsible to our communities and contribute in the private sector. I believe that the collaborative process between government and constituents helps to foster Utah’s thriving economy and national rankings as the best state for business.

In addition to serving as a legislator, I am also a business owner and a homebuilder; in that role I am no stranger to the sometimes crippling regulation that can impact the business community— especially small businesses.

Along with impacting the overall cost of doing business, burdensome regulation hinders the growth and expansion of small businesses and takes up significant time and resources. For example, Sweet Cake Bake Shop located in my home city of Kaysville is a small gluten-free bakery with locations in Kaysville and Salt Lake City, with plans for continued expansion. Small businesses just like Sweet Cake exist everywhere. They are the lifeblood of our economy and should not be trampled by regulation in their honest efforts to expand. Although there have been great strides on a state level to decrease the regulatory burden for small businesses, more can be done.

As it currently operates, it is difficult for state lawmakers to assess the regulatory impact of a proposed bill. This is why I am sponsoring HB 272-Regulatory Impact Amendments. If the bill passes, it would require every proposed piece of legislation to include a regulatory note, allowing lawmakers to see the impact of the legislation on businesses and whether the impact is low, medium or high. This change will help legislators make more informed decisions and consider the impact on a business when voting on legislation. This will also positively improve a business’ ability to understand complex laws and quickly gauge how it may impact their operations.

The second aspect of HB 272 improves the evaluation of administrative rules inside the executive branch by requiring a more rigorous analysis on the impact of a particular rule on a business. In most cases, the implementation of a regulation occurs through various state agencies outside of the legislative branch, so providing a tool they can use to quantify the impact of these rules will be mutually beneficial to state agencies, the Legislature, and the business community. Overall, this bill significantly improves the transparency and oversight of regulation in the state of Utah.

By requiring a regulatory note and authorizing a more rigorous analysis of administrative rules, HB 272 may seem like legislative jargon, but the positive impacts of its passage will be felt from the Capitol to small businesses throughout the entire state. To keep our economy and business climate the best in the nation, lawmakers must be mindful of the enormous contribution of local businesses like Sweet Cake Bake Shop, and continue to make informed decisions that will positively affect our business community.

Brad Wilson is majority leader in the Utah House of Representatives and serves District 15, which includes Layton, Kaysville and Syracuse. He is also the CEO of Destination Homes. Twitter: @BradWilsonGOP.

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