Common Sense Initiative Moving Forward
The agency started on January 10, 2011, in order to review regulation in the state and eliminate the regulation that was burdening business. He left the task of reviewing regulation to Mary Taylor, Ohio’s Lieutenant governor.
“CSI Ohio is about restoring balance to business regulations, making it easier to do business and create jobs in Ohio,” Taylor said via press release. “We know we still have a lot of work to do, but I’m very excited about what we’ve been able to accomplish in our first year.”
Taylor’s office released their first year review on their website, where they outlined their 2011 accomplishments.
- Saved Ohio’s private employers $65 million in premiums by reducing average base rates by 4 percent.
- Reduced Public Employer rates by 5 percent – saving local governments $22 million a year.
- Saved an additional $80 million by reducing our budget by 12 percent over the next biennium.
- Created the Grow Ohio Program to help boost economic development. New employers can save up to 53 percent on workers’ compensation premiums.
CSI Ohio is making an effort to make sure they review as many possible regulatory reforms as they can, and businesses are also expected to speak out for their needs.
The Columbus Dispatch reported this week that business groups and Taylor’s staff say they expect that more than 120 agencies that propose rules now will consider potential business impacts and even meet with affected businesses before a rule is proposed.
“If agencies haven’t been doing a good job, then yeah, there will be culture change,” said Mark Hamlin, Taylor’s regulatory-policy director. Hamlin said there have been about 250 rule proposals filed for review.
The agencies continual presence and emphasis on regulation reform are a promise that John Kasich made during the campaign season in 2010 and has made a major part of his regime. During the Kasich’s state of the state address earlier this month, he emphasized the importance of the CSI program and even gave an example of a specific change that the program had made.
“The Ohio liquor law required food manufacturers to purchase alcohol in retail containers and retail prices. One recipe for a merlot wine sauce called for 140,000 pounds of wine, which they had to purchase, sterilize and pour one bottle at a time. No sipping allowed. We worked with the Department of Commerce, the General Assembly… and Custom Culinary has announced its expansion. They will no longer have to do that.”
While the program has touted economic success, it has also conflicted with how environmental groups operate in the state.
The Ohio chapter of the EPA had to withdraw an initiative that would propose more rules on water quality standards earlier this month. The initiative would have been detrimental to the construction industry in Ohio and had to be put under further review of the CSI Ohio program.
The Common Sense Initiative requires that agencies that propound rules that may adversely impact business must first show that they have included stakeholders from the business community in the development of the rule.