OP-ED: Tackling Red Tape

Most Pennsylvanians want to be left alone to live their lives without undo interference from the government.

Yet, the state and federal governments continually infringe on our freedoms and make living in the Commonwealth difficult. This is unacceptable and I firmly believe that we must get the government off of our backs and out of our wallets.

We need to have Harrisburg work for us… not us working for Harrisburg.

Over-regulation by state bureaucracies not only scares away potential investment in Pennsylvania, but it also stifles our tax-base and growth. Our citizens deserve more from their state.

One way lawmakers can address this issue is through regulatory reform. As the chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, I oversee and review proposals to reform state government, reduce costs and enhance government efficiencies.

The committee also studies proposals to consolidate departments and legislative service agencies, as well as efforts to eliminate or modify existing government programs. Currently, there are a dozen pieces of legislation assigned to this panel, and the over-arching theme is regulatory reform. Some of the more interesting bills include:

Legislation that would create an Office of the Repealer, which would review existing state code and determine which regulations are outdated;

A proposal dubbed the “Red Tape Reduction Act” that would remove two regulations for every one regulation implemented; and

Legislation that would necessitate a vote by the legislature if any new regulation exceeds the $1 million threshold in costs to the taxpayer and state.

Overall, these bills aim to provide the openness and transparency that our constituents deserve. State agencies are responsible for implementing the law; not making laws themselves.

It is disheartening to hear that state agencies are interpreting laws in ways that were not intended by legislators. Government regulations can have an enormous impact on industries, employees and families if they are not implemented properly.

Unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats must not be allowed to operate outside of our democratic system of government, or to impose their private agendas on our citizens.

We must fight tirelessly to curtail job-killing, soul-crushing regulations and we must reduce the costs associated with regulatory compliance.

It is all about accountability.

The current regulatory review process is complex and confusing, and often times cumbersome. In fact, the Commonwealth currently has 153,000 regulatory restrictions, impacting every industry.

It is no wonder that I routinely hear concerns about regulatory reform and bureaucratic red tape.

As your state senator, I plan to do something about it.

My committee intends to hold a hearing on the topic at a 33rd District business. But, I need to hear from you.

&nbWhat are your concerns about the current regulatory review process? What can the state be doing better?

Do you own a business or a farm? Have you encountered red tape? Did the red tape negatively impact your budget? Did you opt against establishing a business in Pennsylvania because of those regulations?

& Has your business been unable to expand because of outdated and obscure regulatory rules? What is the impact of over-regulation?

Before moving more legislation out of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee, I want to understand how red tape has impacted you and your families.

It is time to protect state businesses and our citizenry from out of control bureaucracy.

You can email me at dmastriano@pasen.gov, call any of my offices (717.787.4651; 717.334.4169; 717.632.1153; 717.264.6100) or visit my website (https://senatormastriano.com/contact-me/).

You elected me to fight for you, and that’s exactly what I aim to do: fight for our families, communities and state from faceless bureaucrats who are attacking our freedoms and our way of life.

We are in this fight together, and I ask you to join with me in this endeavor to get the government off of our backs and out of our wallets.

I look forward to hearing from you. Let’s tackle regulatory reform together.

Senator Mastriano represents the 33rd District in the Pennsylvania Senate. The District includes Adams County and parts of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.