The Common Sense Initiative: An Update from the Lt. Governor

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

This post was originally published on the State of Ohio website.

by Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor

Mary TaylorYou may have read in the news that
"Chief Executive" magazine recently released its 2013 rankings of the
best and worst states for business. Ohio made the largest jump, improving 13
spots in its annual poll of CEOs. The CEO comments included in the article
focused on Ohio's turnaround and efforts to make the state more business
friendly and to solve business problems. Among the efforts Governor Kasich has
initiated to do this is the Common Sense Initiative (CSI), which he created in
2011 to reduce and streamline Ohio's business regulations. Governor Kasich
appointed me to lead CSI the same day I was sworn into office.

CSI has been designed to operate along two tracks. The first track
is focused on the administrative rules adopted by state agencies. Since January
1, 2012, all administrative rules that impact business must be submitted to the
CSI office for review along with an analysis to demonstrate that the regulation
justifies the impact to business. In 2012, Ohio's rule filings were 44 percent
below the state's historical average, largely due to the fact that the CSI
reviews have forced agencies to pause and ensure that they have met the CSI
criteria and will be able to justify any rules they propose. The CSI Office has
also worked closely with agencies to minimize business impacts, resulting in
rule packages with better justifications and often changes to the rules
themselves.

In addition to the rule review process, CSI operates along a
second track which allows it to work directly with businesses to resolve issues
that are affecting them.  In one recent example, CSI was able to assist a
small restaurant that was looking to expand but struggling with the state
permitting requirements. With CSI's help, the restaurant was able to add 40 new
seats and four employees. Other examples of CSI's successes include assistance
to an asphalt company as it fought duplicative and expensive emissions testing;
helping a small business avoid a six-month delay in receiving a $65,000 refund
for overpaid sales taxes; and helping local pharmacies navigate the Medicaid
system to open new locations in underserved areas.

For more information on
Ohio's Common Sense Initiative, visit
www.governor.ohio.gov/CSI or call (614) 466-3396.