Smith’s permitting bill clears House

The state House of Representatives on Friday unanimously approved Rep. Norma Smith’s legislation to improve the customer service state agencies provide permit applicants.

Smith, R-Clinton, introduced HB 2192 following the recommendations of a state auditor’s report, which found significant room for improvement in how agencies process permits.

“Our State Auditor’s office did a tremendous job surveying thousands of businesses around our state,” said Smith. “They asked about our state’s regulatory climate as it relates to permitting. The problem that rose to the top was the area of permit timeliness. Duplicative, costly and unpredictable timelines, which can take months or years for a decision literally consume millions of dollars annually from our economy that could be used for job creation and innovation.

“This bill is a great step in providing better customer service for job-creators in Washington state. Our regulatory climate has put us at a competitive disadvantage nationally. As we take these steps to work on regulatory reform we’re sending a strong signal that we can have a robust regulatory climate that protects public safety and all the things we care about, and yet do so in a customer service-oriented way.”

Under the legislation, each state agency issuing permits will publically post the permits under their jurisdiction and instruct a customer to find the help needed to complete an application successfully. Then they will be required to track and record the time it takes to make permitting decisions and post the results publically. This transparency will be the basis for improving performance and customer service, reducing decision time and providing predictability. Agencies will provide performance reports every two years to the Office of Regulatory Assistance, which would then submit a comprehensive report to the Legislature and the governor.


Washington State House Republican Communications