Pennsylvania governor vetoes small business bill

| Thursday, November 16, 2006

For the second time in as many sessions Gov. Ed Rendell has vetoed a bill intended to aid small businesses in Pennsylvania, including trucking operations.

The bill - HB236 - would have required that prior to the adoption of any proposed regulation that could adversely affect small businesses, each state agency notify the Independent Regulatory Review Commission of its intent to adopt the rule.

Rep. Tina Pickett, R-Wysox, said the bill would have allowed small businesses that were adversely affected or aggrieved by any regulatory mandate to seek judicial review. The review period would have extended for 18 months after the implementation of the specific regulation.

The protection would have applied to businesses with up to 100 full-time employees or gross annual sales of less than $6 million.

"There is something wrong in the administration when legislation passes both the House and Senate overwhelming and it is not supported by the governor," Pickett said in a written statement. "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our state's economy, and I am very disappointed that the governor has once again chosen to derail economic development by vetoing this important legislation.

Rendell said in his veto message that the legislation would have increased the cost of operating the government unnecessarily. He said estimates from the state suggest that the cost of processing the more than 200 regulations that are proposed or revised annually could have increased by as much as $1 million as a result of the bill.

"The bill purports to protect small businesses, but, in fact, it will place new burdens on our agencies and commissions and, thus, will drive up the cost of their regulatory duties as well as further drag out an already long process unnecessarily," Rendell wrote.

The governor also said there are enough protections for businesses in current laws. This latest effort would only create another layer of red tape, he said.

Pickett said she isn't giving up. She intends to reintroduce the measure when the new legislative session begins in January.

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