Before I came to the Ohio Legislature, government was strangling the business environment with outdated and sometimes nonsensical legislation. From how wide hallways had to be to where empty trash bags had to be stored, state government rules were making it difficult to run a small business.
I began working with my friends and colleagues in the House of Representatives to make government work smarter. The first thing we did was create the “Common Sense Initiative” (CSI). This program’s only job was to make sure that government regulations were not overly burdensome on businesses or harmful for Ohioans looking to get back to work.
CSI began looking at the rules based on suggestions from both elected officials and the public. One rule change I was particularly proud to work on helped get our veterans back to work. When a veteran returned to Ohio from serving our country, some of them could not get licenses in their field despite having years of experience in that career. The old way of thinking was that they needed to go to school to validate their experience, but I thought this was plain wrong. If you can drive a truck from Kabul to Kandahar, you can drive a semi from Cleveland to Cincinnati. If you can save a life in Baghdad as a medic, you can save a life in Westerville as an EMT. I am proud to say that through my efforts and after CSI review, all state licensing boards now consider military experience when a veteran applies for a license.
In addition to suggestions from the legislature, businesses got involved too. A representative of a metropolitan chamber of commerce called CSI to raise an issue that one of its members was experiencing. The business had just purchased five cement trucks, but was informed that inspection and approval of the vehicles would be delayed by over a month, meaning the business would not be able to use its new assets during that time. CSI contacted the Highway Patrol, which promptly contacted its field personnel and the business to determine how best to coordinate a more timely inspection. As a result, the inspections were completed in three business days, saving the business a month’s wait.
Since it’s inception, CSI has reviewed almost 8,000 rules that affect the way we do business in our state. Of those rules, almost 60 percent were found to make it difficult to work in Ohio. These rules were either repealed or rewritten to make Ohio’s government work smarter.
Efforts to make Ohio’s rules and laws smarter with organizations like CSI, make me proud to work for you. Common-sense regulation makes for common-sense business and make Ohio a great place to live, work and raise a family. If you are interested in helping me continue this great work, click connect to get involved.