As a person who has been involved in a family-run business for much of my life, I know how important it is for businesses to keep up with changing regulatory requirements. While I firmly believe that regulations should be limited and easy to understand, at the same time business must adapt in order to remain in compliance when things do change.
To help make that process easier, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review has launched a website that helps Ohioans keep track of the rules that impact their lives and businesses. The committee, commonly referred to as JCARR, is comprised of members from the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. As the chairman of JCARR, I take seriously the mission of the committee, which is to ensure that state agencies do not exceed their lawmaking authorities through rules.
People elect legislators to pass and enact legislation on their behalf. It is important to keep that power in the hands of the people and protect Ohioans from unnecessary or unwarranted rules and restrictions that a state agency try to enforce.
The website, RuleWatchOhio.gov, is easy to access and use. To register, simply provide an e-mail address and indicate what rules or subjects you would like to follow. You can follow as many or as few categories as you would like. Anytime a rule is changed or updated, an e-mail will be sent informing you of the change. You will receive at most one e-mail per day.
Ohioans can submit recommendations, attend public hearings or contact the members of JCARR. We enjoy hearing from the people of Ohio and take suggestions seriously because a good idea can come from anywhere. Furthermore, regulations and restrictions impact our businesses, our schools and ultimately the state’s economy, so it is important to monitor the actual impacts of these rules.
Keeping an eye on harmful regulations has been a prime focus during the past few years. The Common Sense Initiative, created in 2011, kept a close watch on the effects that certain regulations have on businesses. So far, the program has produced positive results that will provide a boost to our economy.
Like the Common Sense Initiative, RuleWatch Ohio not only provides valuable information to the people of Ohio in an open, transparent way, but it also adds another layer of checks and balances to the rulemaking process in our state.