Federal and State Regulations Reviewed for Potential Negative Impact on Businesses
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty today released the Regulatory Reform Report, an ECD-led review of federal and state rules and regulations impacting businesses. One of the key strategies of the governor’s Jobs4TN economic development plan was to conduct this review with the goal of identifying obstacles to investment.
“To reach our goal of becoming the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs, we must always be focused on strengthening our attractive business climate to attract and grow Tennessee jobs,” Haslam said. “This regulatory review process was important to identify areas for improvement both through internal and external evaluations.”
In conducting the review, ECD surveyed Tennessee business leaders, advocacy groups and state departments to identify federal and state laws, regulations and processes that could have a negative impact on economic development and job creation in the state.
“I want to thank those who gave of their time and participated in the regulatory review process, including Tennessee businesses, local stakeholders and our fellow state government departments. Their cooperation and feedback were essential to producing the Regulatory Reform Report,” Hagerty said. “Identifying areas where there are opportunities for improvement is the first step in streamlining and modernizing our regulatory environment and better serving the people and businesses of our state.”
The report suggests a number of recommendations, which include:
- Implementation of an assessment process for all regulations prior to being finalized.
- Improved customer service by regulatory enforcement entities in working with constituents on regulatory compliance and clearly communicating inspector expectations.
- Strengthening the culture of customer service throughout state government by employee training and accountability measures.
- Working with each state department to eliminate or modify redundant or cumbersome regulations identified through the review process.
- Conducting an annual survey of businesses to track problematic federal regulations.
- Reviewing procedures and processes performed by multiple departments to assess opportunities for streamlining them.
- Continuing ongoing dialogue with businesses about issues of concern such as workers’ compensation and unemployment laws.
- Requiring every department that enforces regulations to create uniform regulatory guidance, where applicable, in order to promote certainty, consistency and oversight within the process.
- Developing an interactive, “one stop” website that allows constituents to easily find regulatory information with appropriate departments, boards or commissions posting relevant notices and information on the site.
- Assessment of the necessity and function of state boards and commissions.
The regulatory review process involved three steps: a broad survey of businesses, a series of statewide roundtable discussions and regulatory self-evaluations by each department of state government.
More than 150 surveys were completed and compiled, and then used as a framework for a series of roundtables involving nearly 200 businesses statewide. Details on survey findings and notes from the roundtables are found in the report.
Each department within state government was also asked to evaluate regulations within their jurisdiction that could be streamlined, eliminated or deemed burdensome to business. Many departments are already going through this process as part of their top-to-bottom reviews.
The complete Regulatory Review Report can be found at tn.gov/ecd/pdf/Regulatory_Reform_Report.pdf.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. To find out more, go to www.tn.gov/ecd.