Senate approves bill to help improve state business climate

LANSING— Legislation that eases regulatory burdens and bureaucratic barriers to growth by improving the state’s permitting and inspections process was approved Wednesday by the Michigan Senate, said Sen. John Proos.

“Getting government out of the way is critical to energizing Michigan’s economy; job creation should not be halted because a state bureaucrat keeps moving the goal posts,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I have long fought for these kinds of reforms. In 2009, as chair of the House Jobs Task Force I advocated for the elimination of these types of barriers to business in order to create a more business-friendly jobs environment.”

According to Site Selection magazine, business executives look at the ease of permitting and regulatory procedures second only to the availability of desired workforce skills when choosing the place to locate or expand a business.

“Making Michigan more competitive for jobs and investment begins with improving the state’s regulatory process,” Proos said. “The current system is tremendously inefficient, resulting in costly delays to economic development and job creation. Removing the unnecessary red tape by making the process more user-friendly will help our economy grow out of a decade of decline.”

Senate Bill 275 focuses primarily on the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) because it is at the heart of nearly every problem raised during discussions.  The bill would:

  • Require the DEQ to provide a list of all requirements for obtaining the necessary permits; 
  • Specify that the department cannot ask for more information besides what is on the list of requirements without a detailed reason why it is needed; and
  • Require the DEQ to reallocate resources if it becomes behind in processing permit applications.

The measure has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.