Now that the General Assembly seems to have taken to heart the message that Rhode Island must reform its business environment, it would seem to be a good idea to make sure that it tackles the important issues.
One start is the release of “Moving the Needle,” a report done by the R.I. Senate and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council. There are many issues identified therein, among them the high cost of doing business and the condition of the state’s infrastructure. But one issue that comes up again and again is the “onerous regulatory environment.”
Providence Business News has documented this issue on a number of fronts, from renewable energy project regulations that vary from municipality to municipality to the overlap of permitting and occupancy rules from the state and local governments.
The issue of permitting is such an important one that Providence Economic Development Director James Bennett created a committee over the summer to identify the changes needed to make it a competitive advantage in the city, not a hindrance.
Creating a simple, transparent and consistent regulatory regime across the state would be a major step toward making Rhode Island a better place to do business. •