Smith offers state regulatory reform bill

Citing many complaints she heard over the past year from local businesses and farmers, Rep. Norma Smith introduced regulatory reform legislation to ensure local businesses are better protected from excessive state regulations.

“Growing state regulations are making it increasingly difficult for our businesses and farms to survive,” said Smith, R-Clinton. “I have consistently heard these concerns since taking office more than a year ago, and have heard my constituents loud and clear. Businesses in the 10th District, and statewide, are in need of a stable regulatory environment. In this economy, it is critical the Legislature work to remove the obstacles our farmers and small-business community face so they can retain and create good-paying jobs.”

House Bill 1617 would strengthen a citizen’s ability to halt agency rules which regulate beyond the clear direction of the Legislature by requiring agencies to show clear statutory authority for their rule. It also gives citizens the ability to file agency decision challenges in several county courts. Currently all challenges must be filed in Thurston County.

Many farmers and businesses owners have shared examples of agency overreach and how burdensome and duplicate rules and regulations have had harmful consequences to their businesses. Small projects can quickly turn into monumental challenges when multiple agencies overstep their bounds, Smith explained.

“The Legislature should act quickly and decisively to keep our skilled agricultural community doing what they do best – help families keep jobs and help businesses keep their doors open,” Smith said. “I hope this bill will be an important step in the regulatory reform this state must enact.”

The bill has bipartisan support and is scheduled for a public hearing Friday, Jan. 30, 1:30 p.m. in the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee. The hearing will take place in House Hearing Room D in the John L. O’Brien Building in Olympia.


Washington State House Republican Communications