Senate approves Casperson bill to help improve Michigans business climate

LANSING— Legislation that eases regulatory burdens and bureaucratic barriers to growth by improving the state’s permitting process was recently approved by the Michigan Senate, said Sen. Tom Casperson.

Senate Bill 275 is part of a comprehensive package of bills to reform Michigan’s regulatory climate, and is designed to make Michigan more competitive and user friendly.

“Inefficiencies and obstacles in the state’s regulatory process severely delay the growth of Michigan businesses,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “As the economy tries to overcome years of economic despair, the Legislature must do what it can to remove these regulatory barriers for job providers.”

The bill focuses on the state Department of Environmental Quality because it is at the heart of many problems raised by businesses during stakeholder discussions. The measure does the following:

  • Requires the department to provide a list of all requirements for obtaining permits issued by the department so businesses have certainty in what is being asked for; 
  • Improves timeliness in permitting and ends delay tactics by regulators who keep asking for additional information;
  • Requires the department to reallocate resources if it becomes behind in processing permit applications to ensure permits are expeditiously processed;
  • Levels the playing field for Michigan job providers by prohibiting rules more stringent than federal rules, unless authorized by state law; and
  • Requires state agencies to consider disproportionate effects rules might have on small businesses compared to larger companies.

According to Site Selection magazine, business executives look at the ease of permitting and regulatory procedures as one of the top two considerations when choosing the place to locate or expand a business.

“Reforming Michigan’s regulatory climate is critical to our economic recovery,” Casperson said.