Don Fry Commentary on WYPR
On Oct. 17, Governor O’Malley ordered each state agency to conduct a 60-day review of state regulations to identify those that should be changed or eliminated in order to help spark economic growth and job creation in the state.
A Web site was also created to solicit citizen input. This is the last week Marylanders have a chance to go online and suggest state regulations that should be included in the governor’s review. Here’s how to do it. Go to www.easy.maryland.gov. Then Click “Get in Touch” on the menu bar and enter your suggestion in the online form provided. So far, the site has generated 352 responses from individuals, including homeowners, working mothers, state employees and business owners.
The responses touch on dozens of issues. A few contain suggestions for adjusting the tax credit for hiring unemployed workers. Some respondents contend that Maryland regulations inhibit the creation of home-based businesses and make it difficult for small farmers and organic growers to sell their products.
Other topics that have drawn the most mention include taxes and roads.
But what’s generally lacking is more substantive and specific comment on state regulatory policies – something business leaders say is a key issue relating to Maryland’s business climate.
The mostly anonymous, free-for-all nature of the state’s Regulatory Feedback Web site may not be the most comfortable venue for you, but if you own a business, you should try to weigh in, either on the site or by writing directly to the governor this week.
This state review of regulations offers a chance to be heard that should be embraced. This is a rare opportunity for business to step up and identify specific policies that impede economic growth and job creation.
The governor has provided business with this open door. Let’s not allow the door to close without properly expressing private-sector concerns about the state’s approach to business.
This is Don Fry, president & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, for 88.1 WYPR, your NPR news station.