Report could aid Haslam in cuts to state business regulations

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 3:05pm

State economic development officials say they are conducting a comprehensive analysis of business regulations and plan to recommend eliminating many of them in a report to Gov. Bill Haslam.

Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty told Middle Tennessee business executives Thursday his department’s report should be ready by the end of October.

“I want to be real clear,” Haslam said during a roundtable discussion at Hendersonville’s Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club. “We obviously have a stewardship responsibility in terms of issues around safety and health and long-term issues around the environment. But we also want to make certain that what we’re doing is not tying you up unnecessarily in a way that prevents you from creating jobs.”

When he took office in January, Haslam ordered a 45-day freeze in new state regulations while the administration reviewed the operations of state government, and he has consistently complained since then that government red tape is handcuffing businesses.

“The charge that the governor has given us is to improve the overall climate in our state to make it the best business climate of any state in the union,” Hagerty said.

“At the state level, I think we have a terrific appetite and the governor has the will and the ability to change any regulation that is in some way inefficient or ineffective in terms of accomplishing its overall objective.”

The governor said it’s too early to name specific regulations that he would target. But Hagerty said, “What we’re going to find, I’m sure, is that there are a number of regulations that are either redundant, outdated or the cost of undertaking the regulatory process doesn’t survive the cost-benefit analysis.”

Federal regulations are “perhaps most aggravating,” the commissioner said, promising to work with the Tennessee congressional delegation to help eliminate some of them.

5 Comments on this post:

By: Magnum on 8/25/11 at 2:29

Oooh...Oooh...I've got one. How about eliminating the "no wine in grocery stores" regulations. Yes that one is going to require some courage, but you can do it! No...now that I think about it, courage isn't your strong suit...especially when there are campaign contributions and votes at stake.

By: bfra on 8/25/11 at 3:02

Very Good point Magnum - or at least let the people VOTE on it!

By: OnlyBlue on 8/25/11 at 5:20

He is just taking off the regulations to protect the bottom line in his oil businesses.

By: anonimus on 8/27/11 at 10:21

Having worked on the promulgation of some state regulations (rules) two things are clear. Tennessee regulations would be almost nonexistent if it were not for federal mandates. Secondly, writers of federal regulations usually have not had a course in effective written communication. So Tennessee has few regulations of which it can rid itself. The best course is to train its regulation writers to translate federal rules into brief, clear sentences. Those boards that issue regulations should demand clarity and brevity before they approve any new regulations.

By: Loner on 8/28/11 at 4:45

I think that your tycoon governor has a problem with semantics.

Minority rights, consumer protections and worker benefits are not "government red tape... handcuffing businesses", as this super-rich, union-hating, born-again ideologue would have you believe.

Governor Haslam and his appointed hatchet men are trying to push Tennessee back to the days of Charles Dickens; where Scrooge ruled and malnourished workers lived in dire poverty and fear. That's the Tea Party wet dream and Haslam is excited and firm.

Haslam's use of the term "stewardship" is straight out of the Hebrew Bible; this goyem thinks that he's on a mission from the Son of God.....Oy!