Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Legislation Seeks to Cut Red Tape for Small Firms

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Legislation Seeks to Cut Red Tape for Small Firms

Article excerpt

A bill approved by the Senate Small Business Committee Thursday is aimed at cutting some of the red tape small businesses contend with, by allowing business owners to ask a newly created board to review state agency rules and recommend changes to the agency or Legislature.

House Bill 1816, by Rep. Jack Bonny, D-Burns Flat, and Sen. Jim Maddox, D-Lawton, committee chair, would create a new 13-member Small Business Regulatory Review Board.

Patterned after a Hawaiian statute, the bill would require agencies to assess the possible impact of proposed rules on small business, and to present their rules, along with a small business impact statement, to the new board. The statement would cover the types of businesses to be affected, costs of administration and compliance, methods considered or used and whether the proposed rules are more stringent than federal or state standards. Rules could be reviewed for several reasons, including: * A claim that the rules do not reflect their actual effect. * The impact statement did not consider economic information that reveals an undue impact on small business. * An allegation that possible impacts were not previously considered at a public hearing. For rules adopted prior to the bill's effective date, grounds could also include: * An assertion that the rules create an undue burden on small business. * A claim that the rules are duplicative or conflict with other regulations. * A contention that factors justifying the rules' purpose have changed. The agency in question would have 60 days to respond to the petition. If it does not adopt changes as a result of the petition, the small business could seek a review before the new board. If the board recommends that the agency adopt new rules, it would file a report with the Legislature, which could take whatever action as it deems appropriate. …

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