Key regulatory reform legislation moves forward in Olympia: Increasing certainty in permitting

The Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee this morning approved SB 6527, a key element in ongoing efforts to add certainty to Washington’s regulatory processes. Regulatory reform is among the Opportunity Washington Priorities for Prosperity. Our Employ priority reads:

Expanding opportunities means encouraging and rewarding innovation and risk-taking and providing employers with a predictable and efficient regulatory and tax environment.

That includes a clear policy objective:

Streamline the regulatory system to improve predictability and efficiency.

As Keep Washington Competitive, a coalition of business, labor and trade groups, wrote in a press release this morning, 

Senate Bill 6527, sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, would institute clear guidelines and timeframes for permit processing. This regulatory “shot clock” would give those seeking permits clearer timelines as to when permits would be processed and projects could proceed.

The release quotes Association of Washington Business president Kris Johnson,

“The regulatory process should not be used as to delay or block economic development or infrastructure improvements. It is there to ensure potential environmental impacts are adequately addressed in a timely manner – and right now, we’re missing the timeliness piece of the process,” said Kris Johnson, a KWC advisory board member…

“This bill would bring greater certainty to the permitting process, which leads to job growth and greater investment in our infrastructure.”

In our foundation report, we noted,

In discharging its regulatory responsibilities, the state should strive to maintain necessary safeguards while assuring predictable regulatory policies and processes, administrative efficiency, and coordination among agencies at all levels of government to avoid duplication.

We congratulate lawmakers for their efforts to adopt regulatory reforms that increase certainty and timeliness.