COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — State leaders hope to make it easier for businesses to navigate rules and regulations in Ohio.
Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said they want to make Ohio the best state to operate and grow a business. But they said that that cannot start until rules in the Ohio Administrative Code are easier to understand.
“It’s not just reviewing rules that are submitted but actually diving into the code to find duplicated and unnecessary regulations,” DeWine said.
Under the leaders’ budget proposal, up to a third of the administrative code would be eliminated. Husted said that means removing more than 5 million words, redundancies and outdated rules.
“The biggest frustration you’ll often hear from people is not that they have to comply but how to comply,” Husted said.
About half of the 5 million words will come out of higher education codes. Husted said right now, all higher education institutions have their policies in the code, something made redundant by the fact that colleges and universities publish their policies on their websites, as required by state law.
Other major cuts include language surrounding the state’s plumbing, fire, residential, building and mechanical codes. Husted said the national building and fire code standards are copied word for word in the Ohio Administrative Code, rather than directing people to it.
And another big chunk of revision has to do with the lottery. Husted said the code includes more than 240 rules for games Ohioans no longer play.
“This is an area where we have discovered that 10% of the words in the code for procedures specific to Ohio lottery games,” Husted said.
But DeWine and Husted said the work does not end with this proposal. There’s a new online tool to track what legislation adds to the administrative code.
Husted said lawmakers at the Statehouse should be more mindful of bills passed. He said in the 134th General Assembly, too many pieces of legislation added language to the administrative code — nearly 20% of bills.
“It’s counter of what the general assembly has asked us to do,” Husted said. “Ohio has been leader in regulatory reforms, but you wouldn’t know it because we haven’t eliminated a lot of the excess parts of the code.”