Wagner, DiSanto and Brooks Propose to Count, Cap, Cut State Regulations

HARRISBURG – Several senators are taking aim at Pennsylvania’s excessive regulations to jump start the state’s economy.

Senators Scott Wagner (R-York), John DiSanto (R-Dauphin/Perry) and Michele Brooks (R-Crawford/Erie/Mercer/Warren) announced today they will introduce legislation to count, cap and cut the number of regulations in Pennsylvania.

The senators observed how the regulatory environment in Pennsylvania is holding back Pennsylvania businesses and individuals from succeeding in their fields. “If we want to bring jobs to Pennsylvania and see our economy thrive, we need to cut through the bureaucracy in Harrisburg,” Wagner said.

A recent study by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University found that the Pennsylvania Code, which holds all current state regulations, likely contains around 153,000 regulations, and that it would take one person 18 weeks to read the entire Code. “We are literally chasing jobs out of this state because small businesses are buried in red tape,” Wagner added, who pointed to the 24 pages in the Pennsylvania Code regarding the use and design of ladders as an egregious example.

“Government does not create jobs, but it can prevent their creation,” DiSanto observed. “My own experience as a business owner proves this out. Many Pennsylvanians have shared with me how excessive government red tape discourages innovation and investment that would grow our economy. Time would be better spent on producing goods and serving customers than on completing paperwork and jumping through regulatory hoops with no real value to anyone except the entrenched bureaucracy.”

The senators’ bill, called the Red Tape Reduction Act, will accomplish three things:

  1. Count the number of state regulations in the Pennsylvania Code.
  2. Cap the number of state regulations at the current number.
  3. Cut the number of state regulations by instituting a one-in, two-out regulatory model.

A one-in, two-out rule means that for every new regulation imposed in Pennsylvania, two would be eliminated. Canada, British Columbia, the United Kingdom, and most recently the U.S. federal government have all seen success with variations of this policy. It is an effective way to curb excessive government regulation, reported the senators.

“Consistently, I hear that over-reaching regulations are creating undue burdens on our farmers, local governments, business owners, and so many others. This legislation is an important step in identifying and rolling back bureaucratic red tape that is stifling our agriculture industry, communities, and job growth,” Brooks said. “By loosening the grip of government, we can help to free innovators and investors from regulatory over-reach, and cultivate economic growth and new jobs.” 

“It’s time we empower Pennsylvanians to succeed,” declared Wagner. “That starts with reducing our state’s regulatory burden.”

You can listen to Senator Wagner’s comments on regulatory reform here.