Midstate legislators want to rein in state regulators

Three Republican lawmakers from Central Pennsylvania have proposed bills that would give the legislature more control over government regulations.

State Rep. Greg Rothman (Cumberland County), state Sen. John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry counties) and state Rep. Dawn Keefer (Cumberland/York counties) each has introduced legislation designed to insert the legislature into the regulatory process for any regulation that would have a fiscal impact of $1 million or more.

Each bill differs in its details, with the $1 million threshold as a common denominator.

Rothman’s House Bill 911 would send eligible regulations to the House and Senate, assign them to the appropriate committee and require an informational hearing before a vote.

DiSanto’s Senate Bill 561 would require the General Assembly to approve major regulations.

Keefer’s House Bill 1237 would require the Independent Fiscal Office to verify the cost of regulations and then provide the House and Senate with 30 calendar days or 10 legislative days to vote on the proposal. If a vote is not taken in that time, or the regulation is voted down in either chamber, it would not be implemented.

“We want the final say on burdensome regulations to be in the hands of the people Pennsylvanians have elected to represent them in the General Assembly,” said Rothman. “Expensive regulations are just a hidden form of taxation paid by business owners and the customers they serve.”

DiSanto said the state’s current regulatory process “stifles the economy and vests too much power in unelected government employees and agencies that lack direct accountability to the people.”

Reducing the state’s “regulatory burden could help keep existing jobs in Pennsylvania and encourage new employers to open here,” added Keefer.

Their efforts are supported by Carl Marrara, vice president of government affairs with the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association; Anna McCauslin, deputy state director with Americans for Prosperity in Pennsylvania; and Suzanne Stoltenberg, Pennsylvania communications director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

Roger DuPuis
Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com.

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