Massachusetts bill would offer protections for small business

| 10/1/2007

A bill in the Massachusetts statehouse that is part of a growing trend across the country to strengthen safeguards for small businesses in each state, including trucking operations, could draw consideration as the session winds down.

Sponsored by Sen. Harriette Chandler, D-Worcester, the bill would clarify the information that should be included in the small business impact statement required by current law. It also would require agencies to consider less costly alternatives to proposed regulations that affect small businesses.

Agencies would be required to review existing regulations every four years to determine their effectiveness for small businesses in the state, which are defined as having fewer than 50 full-time employees.

Supporters say the rules would be a significant step toward fairness for all small businesses that make up 98 percent of businesses in the state. Those businesses employ more than 50 percent of the state’s private workforce.

There are 21 states that have implemented similar protections. Arkansas, Maine, Tennessee, Texas and Washington have approved their own legislation this year.

The Massachusetts bill – S133 – is in the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business. All legislation must be approved by both chambers prior to the end of the regular session, which is scheduled to wrap up by the end of the year.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Massachusetts in 2007, click here.