House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Joshua D. Kail (R-Beaver/Washington) and members of the committee held a hearing today in Harrisburg to discuss the best pathways to crafting regulations and review the impact of existing ones on communities.
“While rules are needed to establish a foundation for our businesses to follow, we must thoroughly examine all policies to ensure we can simplify the process,” said Kail. “Our existing climate has created more burdens than solutions, and we must do everything in our power to change that so we can turn obstacle into opportunity.”
David Burton, senior fellow of Economic Policy at The Heritage Foundation, said there is room to improve the regulatory climate by effectively addressing issues such as tax rates, occupational licensing and permitting.
“If you look at the Bureau of Economic Analysis Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth Rate Data, the results for income and living standards are significantly lower in Pennsylvania than in most states,” said Burton. “From 2018 to 2021, Pennsylvania ranked 42nd out of all states in terms of growth rate. In terms of Forbes ranking for best states to do business, Pennsylvania ranks 27th.”
Bob McCafferty, operator at North Country Brewing, added that while he isn’t against regulation, continuously adding on has created unintended consequences for business owners.
“Jodi and I wouldn’t be able to open North Country Brewing Company today with the way some of the regulations have occurred because we would be outpriced to do so,” said McCafferty. “That hurts ma’s and pa’s who want to be an entrepreneur today.”
Jelden Arcilla, the chief nursing officer with Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, mentioned during his testimony that an average hospital will dedicate 59 employees to ensure regulations are met – which he said denies the reasonable flexibility that health care providers need to be able to meet the real-time needs of the communities they serve.
“Health care is among the most regulated industries in the nation,” said Arcilla. “While government oversight is appropriate to ensure that patients receive safe, high-quality care, the reality is that layers of regulatory requirements and processes too often take providers away from the bedside, stifle innovation, add unnecessary administrative burdens, and strain facilities’ finances.”
Joe Massaro, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association submitted written testimony, adding that not everyone in the lodging industry goes by the same standards.
“Determining ‘regulated sectors’ in various regulatory considerations can seem arbitrary,” said Massaro. “For example, in the travel and tourism industry, we've seen the hotel community treated differently, typically more rigidly than alternative accommodations and your standard short-term rental. Hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds adhere to strict regulations that aren't always applied across the entirety of the lodging industry.”
To view the full hearing, click here.
Representative Joshua Kail
15th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple