(The Center Square) — The Ohio General Assembly has spent the past two years rolling back business regulations, and the effort continued this week in a new bill targeting the fintech industry.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, would create a “regulatory sandbox” for fintech companies, and supporters hope it would make state regulations easier to navigate, less costly and more transparent. .
A sandbox allows live testing of new products or services in a regulated environment. It can help keep and attract new businesses to the state, said groups such as Columbus-based think tank The Buckeye Institute.
“Ohio has one of the largest financial services sectors in the nation, but risks losing those employers due to regulations that prohibit companies from developing and deploying new products and services,” said analyst Logan Kolas. Economic Policy at The Buckeye Institute’s Center for Economic Research. “The policies in Senator Wilson’s bill, which incorporate many recommendations from the Buckeye Institute, will ensure that Ohio’s regulatory process enables and encourages fintech companies to develop and offer new and better services to their customers. . These changes will keep Ohio competitive in the innovation race and keep jobs in Ohio.
Senate Bill 249 would create the voluntary sandbox and prioritize consumer safety. It also allows companies that maintain a physical presence in the United States or conduct virtual operations to apply for the sandbox, and it would create opportunities for those participating in the Ohio sandbox to operate in other other state sandboxes.
The review of state business regulations began last year when the General Assembly passed and the governor signed a red tape reduction law.
The effort continued in the spring when Sen. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, introduced Senate Bill 9, which would cut business regulation by 30%.
Roegner pointed to Ohio’s administrative code, which she says contains 15 million words and about 274,000 unique restrictions, in addition to the more than 1 million federal restrictions.
“It’s truly amazing that anyone wants to start a business with so much paperwork to navigate,” she said.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University RegData State The project, which analyzed regulations in 44 states and the District of Columbia, ranked Ohio behind California and New York as the most restrictive states.
While cutting regulations by 30% by 2024, SB 9 would create an inventory of restrictions in a bid to give policymakers a clearer view of bureaucracy, cap restrictions, open an online portal to give businesses easier access to rules and restrictions; and allowing the Ohio Legislature’s Joint Committee on Review of Agency Rules to ease regulatory reduction requirements.
SB 9 passed the Senate earlier this year but remains in a House committee
Lawmakers have support from organizations such as the National Federation of Independent Business, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Buckeye Institute.
“We believe SB 9 can help businesses operating in Ohio by reducing the overall regulatory burden,” said Kevin Boehner, director of small business and labor policy for the Chamber of Commerce. from Ohio. “At the same time, we recognize that a 30% reduction for each agency may be difficult to achieve. However, in order to increase economic competitiveness, encourage free enterprise, and create the best economic environment for businesses to thrive in our state, reducing overall regulation is an important goal.