Gov. Phil Bryant today signed into law legislation that aims to remove unnecessary barriers to business growth by giving small businesses a voice in state rulemaking processes.
Bryant outlined the need for the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act (Senate Bill 2398) in his inaugural State of the State address and says the measure is needed to ensure that government does not over-regulate job creators.
"As governor and as a true conservative, I am committed to creating an environment where small businesses can flourish, creating the jobs, goods and services that Mississippi needs to grow," Gov. Bryant said.
"Small businesses are critical to the state's economy. Many Mississippians work for a small company, and this legislation will help ensure that no business shies away from expanding or locating in our state because of burdensome mandates."
The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act creates a framework that allows for the review of current regulations and any proposed rules and or regulations that would adversely impact small businesses.
Ron Aldridge, the Executive Director of the Mississippi chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, says the legislation will ensure that small business have a voice in crafting effective, appropriate regulations.
"This is a big deal for small business," Aldridge said. "It's been too easy for state agencies to impose new rules and regulations without regard to how they would affect small family businesses. The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act is going to change that by having small-business owners review new regulations and work cooperatively with state agencies for changes that would make the rules more flexible and less costly for small businesses."
According the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 97 percent of Mississippi employers are considered small businesses, and more than half of all non-government workers in the state are employed by a small business.
The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act organizes a volunteer committee of former and current small business owners and officers who will review proposed and existing regulations in Mississippi to determine if those regulations are harmful to small businesses. Committee members will work closely with state agencies to either modify or ease regulations that are determined to place unfair burdens on small businesses. State agencies will also report on how proposed regulations will impact small businesses.
The governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house will each make four appointments to the twelve-member committee. The governor will appoint the committee chair. Appointees must be current or former small business owners or operators and may be nominated for appointment by a local chamber of commerce, small business industry organization or a small business owner or officer. Members will serve two-year terms with a limit of three successive terms. The Mississippi Development Authority will act as a coordinator for the committee.