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Guest Column from State Representative Kyle Koehler: Ohio's Common Sense Initiative

March 4, 2016
J. Kyle Koehler News

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Creating a business friendly community in Ohio is essential to the success of our state, and is what enhances our local economy and community. For this reason, it is common sense for our government to reduce the burden of bureaucratic red tape for Ohio’s small businesses in order to place the power in the hands of the owners who know exactly what their small business needs to succeed.

There are many programs and initiatives aimed at helping Ohio businesses succeed, in addition to attracting new business investments within the state. One program in particular that is aimed at creating a thriving business environment is the Common Sense Initiative.

Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative, or CSI program, creates a regulatory framework that not only promotes economic development, transparency, and responsiveness for regulated businesses, but also makes compliance easier for all Ohio companies. When we create an environment with these essential characteristics, we allow our local businesses to prosper and grow.

Since 2012, CSI has been able to review nearly 8,000 business-related policies and allow for input from business owners to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of prospective business policies. Through an open and transparent process, CSI has proven that it can find common ground between effective regulations and a business-friendly community. The CSI program has been able to do this by promoting a constructive process that allows for dialogue between all interested parties.

One instance that CSI was able to effectively address was related to new policies from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. It came to the attention of the BWC that many Ohio businesses were in need of effective workers’ compensation coverage for employees who frequently worked outside of Ohio. Through an open dialogue process, CSI was able to foster a compromise between the BWC and the business community that allows these businesses to get the coverage they need for their employees without the added expense.
The success stories of the CSI program are growing, which means big things for Ohio. We must be mindful that our small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and they are strengthened by reducing government interference. At the end of the day, providing small businesses with the tools they need to succeed is just common sense.

As a legislator for the 79th House District, I am always looking to help my constituents and the place we call home.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns on Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative, or any other state issue, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (614) 466-2038 or by emailing