Regulatory Reform

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The economic future of Massachusetts depends upon the ability of the commonwealth to establish a world-class state regulatory system that ensures the health and welfare of society in a manner that meets the highest standards for efficiency, predictability, transparency and responsiveness.
 
Employers acknowledge the need for effective and well-managed regulation that ensures the health and welfare of society without weakening the financial underpinnings of the job market. But the employer community believes that Massachusetts regulations and the regulators who enforce them often stray from the primary objective of protecting society and into a mindset of “punishing” businesses.
 
 
  • Issues
  • AIM Proposals
  • Employer Stories

AIM Supports

Accessible Posting of State Regulations

 

Eliminate the Secretary of State’s ability to charge individuals, businesses, state agencies and municipalities for purchasing regulations. It would require that the Secretary of State maintain all regulations online.

Require a cost-benefit analysis and economic impact statement for all proposed legislation, regulations or administrative processes. Any new law or regulation that would require state agencies to hire additional staff should require cost estimates for that additional staff. 
 
Require every state agency to maintain an advisory council that includes the regulated community. 
  
Elevate the role of regulatory ombudsperson from the Executive Office of Economic Development to the Governor’s Office, a structure already in place on the federal level. The ombudsperson would have the authority to determine which regulations and/or enforcement issues represent real impediments to growth and recommend changes to the Legislature or the executive branch. 
 
Develop an executive agency scorecard that the state Comptroller may use to conduct scheduled audits of all state agencies. A key metric would be increasing the number of state services delivered online.
 
Engage employers on key issues related to the creation of the Department of Family and Medical Leave and regulations for compliance. 
 

1) One central Massachusetts employer has two elevators in his facility – one for freight, the other for passengers. The company pays $1,100 to get each elevator inspected, but state officials refuse to inspect the two elevators at the same time. They require two visits, two payments of $1,100.
 
2) One entrepreneur describes an incident in which his small company lost a significant amount of money and was therefore required to file its tax return electronically. But the Department of Revenue did not permit the company to file using commercially available e-file software. The company had to spend hundreds of dollars to purchase the software required by DOR. The result – the company is moving to Texas, which will enjoy the benefit of high-paying jobs and a huge capital gains tax windfall when the entrepreneur sells the company in a few years.
 
3) The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) has in many ways lived up to its name – fees established under the law have prompted scores of companies to reduce or eliminate their use of chemicals, cutting overall payments into the program. Unfortunately, the people who run TURA have taken that as a cue to jack up fees to a level that may drive many of the remaining companies out of state.
 

4) Massachusetts lawmakers and regulators often impose state laws and regulations that duplicate federal laws and regulations and create an administrative nightmare for small business.

 

5) Regulators appear particularly determined to preserve their authority and revenue flow when confronted with innovative ventures that disrupt an established industry. Manicube, a New York-based company that sends its licensed manicurists to serve customers in corporate offices rather than in traditional nail salons, recently found itself under investigation by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetologists because the company employs licensed manicurists, but does not operate out of a licensed nail salon. Regulators of traditional taxi cabs have similarly moved to restrict the growth of Uber.

AIM Expert:
Brad MacDougall
Vice President
Government Affairs

Regulatory Reform
regulatory reform, regulation, Massachusetts,Blueprint for the Next Century, Associated Industries of Massachusetts
Massachusetts must establish a world-class state regulatory system that ensures the health and welfare of society in a manner that meets the highest standards for efficiency, predictability, transparency and responsiveness.
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