At a meeting with small business leaders, Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he signed an Executive Order (EO) aimed at streamlining state regulations. EO No. 37 invites public comment on all state regulations more than four years old, asking for the public's help in identifying regulations that are obsolete, duplicative, excessively burdensome, or otherwise ineffective or unnecessary. The EO also establishes principles of smart, cost-effective, accessible and transparent regulations for future agency endeavors.
"We're committed to making state government more efficient, more transparent and more responsive, and engaging Connecticut's citizens and businesses in a public conversation about state regulations is an important part of that effort," said Governor Malloy. "We've made progress on this front since I took office. Permits that used to take more than ninety days to get approval now get approved in 30 days. Regulations that were nearly impossible to find in hard copy can now be found online. It's a great start, but there is much more that we can and must do. This Executive Order is another important step toward making government more responsive and more transparent."
EO 37 lays out principles that agencies must follow when drafting updated regulations, including:
clearly identifying their policy goals and how the proposed regulations seek to achieve those goals;
accounting for the anticipated impact on economic growth that will be hampered or helped by creating the regulation;
utilizing best practices for regulation, including using the least burdensome tools to achieve regulatory goals;
writing regulations in clear easy to understand language.
EO 37 builds on longstanding efforts by the Malloy administration to streamline agency policies and procedures and to increase the transparency and online accessibility of state regulations. As part of Governor Malloy's electronic regulations or E-Regs project, the Governor announced in July that all state agency regulations would, for the first time, be posted online at www.ct.gov/eregulations. The E-Regs project will also allow the public to view and participate in all stages of the rule-making process.
In addition, under Governor Malloy's direction, state agencies have been looking to find efficiencies under the philosophy known as LEAN. For example, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has reduced the processing for permit applications by 74%, and reports for inspection processes like underground fuel tanks are being issued in a matter of hours compared to what used to be a six week ordeal. Agencies will also be encouraged to conduct outreach to the regulated-community and stakeholders before starting the regulation-making process in order to ensure that input and collaboration among all parties happens before the proposed regulation is published for formal comment.
"This is a common-sense approach to making Connecticut more user friendly for all citizens and especially for small businesses," concluded Governor Malloy. "We must always ensure that we're providing for the health and well-being of our citizens and our environment, but we should always challenge ourselves to make sure we're striking the right balance. And, most important, we should invite the public to challenge us to. I look forward to hearing the public's input, so that together we can work to make our state more efficient and effective."
To assist in this effort, the Governor is inviting public comment, which can be done either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or through a web form provided at www.governor.ct.gov/regulations.
"For too long the state's regulatory atmosphere made some businesses think that government was working against them instead of in their best interests," Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. "This order is another way that we are living up to our commitment to make Connecticut more competitive and business-friendly, and to give the business community confidence that we want to help them thrive."
"We are very pleased the Governor is undertaking a thorough review of the state's regulatory climate," said John R. Rathgeber, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. "Over the past few years, we've seen a commitment from a number of state agencies, including the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Revenue Services, to be more customer service-focused and timely in their decision making. Regulatory burdens have a significant impact on our business climate -- it's critical that real progress be made across all state agencies to improve Connecticut's standing as a better place for businesses to invest and create jobs."
"Regulation works best when it is subject to a rigorous and open process, including cost benefit analysis and a process to rethink outdated assumptions and approaches," said Brackett Denniston, GE Senior Vice President and General Counsel. "I applaud the Governor for paving the way for smarter regulation in Connecticut and encourage other states to do the same."