Malloy signs order to address state regulations

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By Richard Lee
Gov. Dannel Malloy is encouraging businesses and state residents to opine about his effort to re-examine state regulations to determine their viability, their importance in protecting the public and how they impact business.
During a breakfast meeting today with 120 members of the Business Council of Fairfield County at the Stamford-Marriott, Malloy announced that he has issued an executive order aimed at strengthening state regulations. The order invites public comment on state regulations more than four years old, asking for input on identifying regulations that are obsolete, duplicative, excessively burdensome, ineffective or unnecessary.
“We know we have outdated regulations that add to the cost of doing business,” Malloy told the audience. “We’re in the process of providing a new business environment.”
The executive order lays out principals that agencies must follow when drafting updated regulations, including writing in clear language, and accounting for the anticipated impact a regulation has on economic growth.
Malloy said his administration is committed to making government more efficient and more transparent and responsive and engaging state residents and business operators is part of the effort.
“We’ve made progress on this front since I took office,” said Malloy in prepared comments. “Permits that used to take more than 90 days to get approval now get approved in 30 days. Regulations that were nearly impossible to find in hard copy can now be found online.”
The public can send an email to governor.regulations@ct.gov or complete a web form at www.governor.ct.gov/regulations.
The state, which also will conduct forums on the issue, also is making its operations more efficient based on a philosophy that promotes lean manufacturing strategy.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has reduced the processing for permit applications by 74 percent, according to Malloy, and instead of taking six weeks, reports for inspection processes like underground fuel tanks are being issued within several hours.
State agencies will be expected to communicate with the regulated community and stakeholders before starting the regulation-making process to ensure that controversial issues are resolved before the proposed regulation is published for formal comments.
Kate Hampford Donahue, president of Hampford Research in Stratford, one of three small business owners on a panel at the event, said she plans to comment about how state regulations affect her business.
“The Connecticut regulations are pretty straight forward, and the DEEP is good to work with,” said Donahue, whose company manufactures specialty chemical materials for many Fortune 500 companies.
But Donahue said she would like the state to examine its reporting standards to determine ways they can align with federal standards.
“Can we agree on one format? That saves time and effort,” said Donahue, whose company has 33 employees. “I think it’s always good to look at the rules you have and see if they make sense.”
The Connecticut Business & Industry Association has come out as a supporter of the executive order.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a commitment from a number of state agencies, including the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Revenue Services, to be more customer-service focused and timely in their decision making,” said John Rathgeber, president and CEO, in prepared comments. “Regulatory burdens have a significant impact on our business climate — it’s critical that real progress be made across all state agencies to improve Connecticut’s standing as a better place for businesses to invest and create jobs.”
Frank O’Brien, regional sales consultant for TriNet, a Stamford provider of human resources services to businesses, has seen how some of his clients grapple with government regulations.
“I’m delighted to learn from the governor that the state is trying to remove some of the binds that impact business,” he said. “If they are able to help small business reduce some of the red tape they have to deal with when starting a business, it will grease the engine.”

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