How serious is Connecticut about improving its regulatory climate?
This year, Connecticut state lawmakers responded to the challenge by passing several measures that should help significantly.
Under SB 302, state agencies, policymakers, and the public will gain a better understanding of how proposed regulations will impact small businesses before final approval.
When proposing regulations, agencies will have to answer a variety of questions concerning the types of businesses (with fewer than 250 employees) that will be impacted and how.
This is how Massachusetts and Rhode Island already do it, so Connecticut will join them in this regulatory transparency.
SB 301 will bring greater regulatory clarity and certainty by requiring DEEP, for the first time, to define for manufacturers and other businesses what spills need to be reported to the agency and which do not.
Unlike failed attempts of the past, this time DEEP agreed to develop “reportable quantity” thresholds for future, contemporaneous spills.
Regulations are anticipated to be formally proposed by the end of 2016.
Finally, HB 5498 creates a process for ensuring existing regulations are periodically reviewed by agencies and the legislature so that outdated, ineffective regulations or those that have been the subject of written complaints from the regulated community can be adjusted or withdrawn.
Agencies will have to report to the legislative committees that oversee their activities at least every seven years.
The committees may hold hearings and make recommendations for legislative or regulatory action.