With three-quarters of its work completed, the R.I. Office of Regulatory Reform has set the stage for real improvement in Rhode Island’s business climate.
Charged by the General Assembly in 2012 with identifying, analyzing and recommending changes to state regulations that affect small business, it has issued the third of four expected reports. Originally scheduled to take four years, the timeline for the agency’s work was cut by more than half by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, when he correctly remarked in the fall of 2012 that the work was too important to Rhode Island businesses to take the full period.
So far the ORR has recommended the repeal of 29 regulations (of 1,223 submitted for review) as well as suggesting that changes be made to another 66. The big question now – aside from the not illegitimate one, “Is that all there was?” – is how long will it take to eliminate or amend the identified regulations? So far, 10 have been deleted, but more needs to be done.
Establishing the “rules of the game” is a legitimate function of government. But once those rules hamper the functioning of the economy for no good reason, there should not be any time wasted in clearing them off the books. •