As a successful small business owner for the past 30+ years, I know the stifling impact that overregulation can have on a business – it eats up valuable time, it diverts financial resources away from opportunities to hire more people or increase wages, and it increases overhead that ultimately raises the cost for consumers. Over regulation stalls economic growth. Yes, some regulations are necessary and play an important role in health, consumer safety and protection of the environment. But too much regulation can strangle the power of the free market.
As an 8-year member of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, I saw firsthand the difficulty that burdensome overregulation can cause in recruiting new businesses and more jobs to Nebraska.
A George Mason University study says Nebraska ranked #13 in the nation for State Regulatory Restrictions – with over 100,000 restrictions codified in 7.5 million words impacting 72 different agencies. The Platte Institute reports that, “The estimable cost of state regulations on Nebraska’s private sector for a single year was $473.8 million in 2016.” Compare that to 44,000 restrictions in South Dakota and 71,000 restrictions in Kansas. Do we really think that these increased regulations make Nebraska safer than South Dakota or Kansas?
Federal regulations are also a problem, but as a member of the Nebraska Legislature, I will make regulatory reform at the State level a key priority. Other states have tried some version of a ‘Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny’ (REINS) Act to build in a process that would require each regulation to receive an economic analysis to determine true costs and burdens to businesses. Additionally, I would support such measures as designating each Friday of the Legislative Session as a day of ‘Reducing Regulation, Red Tape, & Rulemaking’ meaning that the Friday Legislative Agenda would only consider those pieces of legislative businesses that would repeal, rescind, or reduce burdensome regulatory oversight. Friday’s in the legislature would become a day of spring-cleaning in order to make Nebraska more competitive for business growth and economic development.
In America, each of our 50 states are laboratories in democracy. Nebraska can learn from the successes or failures of other states and in turn become a leader with new innovative approaches to right sizing regulation and freeing Nebraska small businesses to thrive in a competitive market. I look forward to being a champion for small businesses in the Nebraska Legislature.
To dialogue with me about this important issue or to learn more, visit my website at: PalmtagForNebraska.com.