Over-regulation can kill jobs: Someone in Olympia finally understands that

By MARK HARMSWORTH  | 
Jan 14, 2020
BLOG

Two lawmakers in Olympia understand how regulations can kill jobs in Washington and have introduced legislation that will help make things a little easier.

Representative Vick (R) and Representative Hoff (R) have introduced House Bill 2477 that specifically addresses unnecessary regulation and licensing restrictions, while still protecting critical health and safety requirements. It requires the state to take a hands off approach to licensing unless its really needed.

Often Olympia creates new regulation in a vain attempt to prove to the small business owners and workers in Washington that they understand how to make things better. Invariably, as we all know, it ends up doing the exact opposite.

Thankfully, in the case of HB 2477, we have some common sense.

Our regulatory environment is long overdue for reform. Today, there are a total of 26 regulatory agencies in the state of Washington. Each year state agencies add thousands of more pages of new rules and penalties. In 2017 alone, agencies imposed another 6,517 pages of new rules on the public. The regulatory structure strangles small businesses, drives up the cost of entering the market and impedes job creation.

Over the last two years, the federal government has cut regulations in 70 percent of its agencies – and for good reason. The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates federal regulations and intervention cost Americans $1.9 trillion in 2017. Our state’s lawmakers can bring similar benefits to our state by aligning state regulation to match the reductions at the federal level.

Often small businesses get caught in the red tape not intended for the type of work they do. That hurts the bottom line and ultimately means less opportunity for growth and new Washington jobs.

It is refreshing to see a balanced approach with HB 2477 to keep consumers safe but still allowing innovation.

Washington state is home to some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world. They each started as a small business. With some incremental regulatory change, we can make sure our current small businesses will have a chance to grow and reach their full potential.