State Senate to job providers: Michigan open for business

LANSING — Legislation designed to cut the red tape binding Michigan job providers and help put people back to work was approved Thursday by the state Senate, said Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake.

“Michigan has lost nearly 800,000 jobs in the past decade,” said Kowall, key sponsor of the package and chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee. “We have to act now to make sure our state is a place that encourages economic growth, not a place that discourages job providers with unnecessary and burdensome regulation.”

Senate Bills 271 through 279 would reduce burdensome regulations on individuals and businesses to help create jobs and boost Michigan’s economy.

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;
  • Require regulators to compare standards in nearby states and perform a cost-benefit analysis when proposing new rules; 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.
“Reforming the state’s regulatory climate is critical to getting the state back on solid economic footing,” Kowall said. “Our people need jobs and these bills will signal to job providers that Michigan is open for business.”

SBs 271 through 274, and 276 through 279 will now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration. The ninth measure, SB 275, is currently before the Senate Economic Development Committee.