As the new Ohio General Assembly is well under way I wanted to take a moment to share with you a few initiatives I have been working on to ensure effective, responsible and efficient government.
A number of the Senate’s early priorities are focused on improving the economy. Government doesn’t create long-term job growth — private sector employers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses do. But government can help improve the economy by following policies that make our environment better for economic growth and private sector job creation.
We are working to create a pro-growth atmosphere by cutting taxes, passing significant regulatory reforms, and changing the way the state works with job creators as they seek to expand or locate in Ohio. Over the last several years we have seen Ohio’s unemployment rate cut in half, as Ohio’s private sector employers have added more than 560,000 new jobs.
The Senate will build on this progress in 2019, as we continue to move in a pro-growth direction. Our first priority bill, Senate Bill 1, which I sponsor, aims to cut government red tape by 30 percent over three years. That number was not picked at random. A 2018 study showed that Ohio has more than 246,000 regulatory restrictions in its administrative code — nearly 100,000 more restrictions than the average state included in the survey.
We know that some regulations are necessary. We all agree that we should have health and safety standards, rules to protect the environment, and the like. Many restrictions do not serve these critical functions, and instead create unnecessary hurdles for Ohio’s small businesses. We do not need 100,000 extra restrictions beyond other states.
If enacted, Senate Bill 1 would be among the most sweeping regulatory reforms in modern Ohio history. It would get rid of unnecessary burdens facing small businesses throughout the state. It would remove unnecessary infringements on peoples’ liberty. The bill will hit the "reset button" for regulators and change their daily role. Instead of developing new regulations, they will focus more of their time on getting rid of red tape that is unnecessary or duplicative. They will think of new ways to maximize Ohioans’ freedom. They will work to repeal old rules that are inefficient or have outlived their usefulness.
These types of reforms are already working across the country. In one of his first major acts in office, President Trump issued an executive order requiring the repeal of two regulations for each new regulation that is proposed. It was a bold step, but it is working. It’s not an accident that the economy is growing, that job numbers are up, and that GDP growth is exceeding anyone’s expectations. Those are the natural results of pro-growth policies like tax cuts and regulatory reform. We should — and we will — follow such policies at the state level as well.
It is my duty as a U.S. citizen and my privilege as your representative to respect your beliefs and opinions, uphold your constitutional rights and keep you informed of issues we are working on in Columbus that affect our communities back home.
For these reasons and more I encourage you to stay engaged, if you have any thoughts about these policies, or any other issue facing the state, please contact my office. I can be reached by phone at 614-466-4823 or by email at Roegner@OhioSenate.gov. You may also reach me by mail at Senator Kristina Roegner, 1 Capitol Square, Ground Floor, Columbus, OH 43215.