May. 04, 2021

HARRISBURG – The House today passed legislation authored by Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) that would make it easier for individuals and businesses to understand state regulations.

“Government should not have an adversarial relationship with businesses or individuals who are trying to follow regulations in order to complete a project,” O’Neal said. “My legislation will create a more collaborative approach, which will hopefully reduce confusion surrounding regulations and cut down on delays. Government’s goal should be to ensure businesses do no harm, not serve as a fine collection agency.”

House Bill 288 would require each state agency to designate an employee as its regulatory compliance officer. The officer would be accessible to the regulated community and work with them to explain regulations and resolve noncompliance issues before imposing penalties. In addition, the bill would allow an individual or business to request an advisory opinion from the compliance officer regarding what their duties are under the regulation. If the person or business follows this opinion, they could not be held liable.

This legislation is part of a package of bills approved by the House today to assist with economic recovery through regulatory reform. Other bills in the package would ensure greater checks-and-balances in our regulatory process by giving the General Assembly the authority to initiate the repeal of any regulation currently in effect by concurrent resolution (House Bill 950); would establish an enhanced review process for major regulations that impose a substantial cost burden on the Commonwealth (House Bill 72); and would reform the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information about the permits that they grant on their website, create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications and clearly state the legal authority that the agency relies on when rejecting a permit application (House Bill 139).

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

The 48th Legislative District in Washington County includes the city of Washington; Chartiers, North Franklin, North Strabane and South Strabane townships; and Canonsburg, East Washington and Houston boroughs.

Representative Tim O’Neal
48th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tracy Polovick
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