Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Common Sense Initiative a Benefit to all Ohioans

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Two years ago, I began talking with constituents about the Common Sense Initiative (CSI). The Common Sense Initiative is the brain child of Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. The core principle is providing a government watchdog to ensure bureaucracy makes doing business in Ohio less challenging and as a result increases job opportunities in this state.

The office of the Common Sense Initiative examines all administrative rules before they are approved and recommends changes. In addition, CSI examines rules already on the books and suggests changes on behalf of Ohioans. The office operates within four basic criteria: 1.) Regulations should facilitate economic growth 2.) Regulations should be transparent and responsive 3.) Compliance should be easy and inexpensive 4.) Regulations should be fair and consistent. Following these criteria the office has an impressive record of helping Ohioans since being created less than two years ago.

The office of CSI has established a new bar for government in this state. Agencies are filing less rules, and thereby minimizing the impact government has on business. In 2012, rule filings were 44% below the historical average. The office of CSI has reviewed more than 1,500 regulations and of the recommendations made 100% have been implemented. In total the office saw more than 779 business-impacting rules rescinded or amended. This impressive record is saving Ohioans money, time and stress.

Numbers aside, these are policies that impact our lives. Examples of CSI’s work included allowing an Ohio business to purchase wine at wholesale prices to make their recipes, saving $2,000 on the building of an average new home by updating outdated rules as they related to Ohio Residential Building Codes, and providing internationally-trained research doctors the ability to stay in Ohio for longer than three years, providing an environment for medical breakthroughs in this state. The work of CSI is in addition to the solid policies promoted by the governor and passed by the state legislature. This is a benefit to all Ohioans that is assisting in our state’s economic recovery.

Two years later, the office of the Common Sense Initiative is operating under the umbrella of the lieutenant governor with a record of making Ohio government friendlier to businesses. If you know of a government rule or procedure that is costing Ohio business money or a loss of productivity please alert the office of the Common Sense Initiative by emailing CSIOhio@governor.ohio.gov or call (614) 466-3396.

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