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Guest Column from State Representative Andy Thompson: Empowering our Economic Engine & Getting Regulations Right

March 2, 2016
Republican Newsroom

Press Release Poster

A vibrant economy starts with a welcoming business climate. A welcoming business climate is one that is respectful of our entrepreneurs and employs a common-sense approach to regulation and taxation. There are many initiatives aimed at helping Ohio businesses succeed, in addition to attracting new business investment within the state. One indispensable program that is aimed at getting regulations right is the Common Sense Initiative (CSI).

In 2011, Representative Kristina Roegner and I led Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative legislation through the Ohio House in consultation with Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor. Senator Jim Hughes shepherded the Senate version through his chamber. We were present when Governor Kasich signed the bill. CSI 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. It has helped me with sewer issues in my district and also with a manufacturer who had an unresolved water issue with the Ohio EPA.

This past year CSI underwent a new strategic plan to ensure that it was improving Ohio’s business climate. This new plan focuses on objectives, introduces new metrics for impact measurement, and makes sure efforts communicate the role of the initiative. Since the implementation of this new plan, CSI has been able to work with businesses in Ohio to resolve issues that could have potentially negatively impacted them and their goals.

One issue CSI has been able to tackle was a permit project for a small business. CSI was contacted by an environmental consultant looking for help with finalizing a permit that had been pending since 2012. The paving company in question had an unresolved air emissions permit matter that the Ohio EPA was reviewing, which may have led to a halt in the company’s project. CSI was able to work with the EPA, and all parties involved, which led to the company obtaining a permit in September 2015. CSI helped navigate the company through the process expeditiously in order to promote needed economic development in our state.

CSI has been able to work with varying groups, people, and companies all looking for clarification and the removing of red tape. The success stories of this program are growing, which means big things for Ohio. We must be business friendly in our state if we want to see productive economic growth and I am happy to say that Ohio is absolutely achieving this goal.

As your legislator in the 95th House District, I am always looking to help my constituents and the place we call home.  I was pleased to help make CSI a reality in Ohio. 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) 644-8728 or by emailing