Governor signs Smith’s permitting bill

State Rep. Norma Smith’s bill to improve state agency permitting got the gubernatorial seal of approval Thursday.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2192, which requires agencies to begin tracking how long it takes to process business permit applications and provide more information online. The measure caps a series of regulatory reform legislation Smith has pushed over the last few years to better the state’s business climate.

Smith, R-Clinton, said the goal of the bill is to “drive improved performance and customer service.”

“When you say ‘regulatory reform’ people’s eyes glaze over, but it’s really a critical factor in spurring economic growth and creating job opportunities,” said Smith. “If business owners can’t get the assistance they need from state agencies, if they’re not getting their permits processed in a timely manner and are unnecessarily spending excessive time and money due to the complexity of the process, then they can’t take important steps like moving forward with their business plan, expanding, or hiring new employees. This bill says to job-creators that we are serious about making Washington a better place to do business.”

Smith crafted the legislation based on the recommendations of a State Auditor’s Office report on permit timeliness issued last December. The report studied state agencies that issue business permits and found significant room for improvement.

In addition to the requirement for tracking and posting the total time involved in processing permits – as well as submitting regular reports to the Legislature – the new law also tasks the state with providing online instructions for filling out permit applications. Most importantly, said Smith, it requires the development of metrics to improve performance and customer service.


Washington State House Republican Communications