LANSING – The state Senate passed a package of bills Thursday reducing costly regulations, sending a strong message to job providers that Michigan is serious about economic development, said Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell.
“For too long, Michigan’s burdensome rules have prevented businesses from hiring workers,” Hildenbrand said. “Today we began removing some of these obstacles to job growth.”
Senate Bills 271 through 279 would reduce onerous regulations on individuals and businesses to help create jobs and boost Michigan’s economy.
Hildenbrand sponsored SB 277, which would require the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to review its permit processing costs, customer service practices and compare them to other states. After reviewing these major programs, the department must identify ways to improve performance.
Hildenbrand’s measure sends a message that the status quo is no longer good enough.
“It’s time to raise the bar for organizational performance, while reducing costs and improving service,” he said. “Michigan’s business climate will strengthen if we take this approach. We can learn from what other states are doing and then implement those best practices.”
Other measures in the nine-bill package would:
- Level the playing field for Michigan job providers by prohibiting rules more stringent than federal rules, unless authorized by state law;
- Require state agencies to consider disproportionate effects rules might have on small businesses compared to larger companies;
- Improve timeliness in permitting and end delay tactics by regulators who keep asking for additional information; and
- Increase transparency in the rulemaking process to improve the opportunity for comment and suggestions by those impacted.
According to Site Selection magazine, business executives look at the ease of permitting and regulatory procedures second only to the availability of desired workforce skills when choosing the place to locate or expand their business.
SB 275 is currently before the Senate Economic Development Committee. The other bills in the package now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.