Governor Baker Signs Executive Order Initiating Regulatory Reform Review
Year-long Review to Reduce Burdensome Regulations to Increase Efficiency and Competitiveness
BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order immediately initiating a comprehensive review process for all regulations enforced by the Executive Department and leaving in place the regulatory pause announced by the administration earlier this year.
“State government must speak with one voice in its commitment to providing exceptional customer service for citizens, municipalities, businesses, non-profit groups, healthcare providers and educational institutions,” said Governor Baker. “This will be an intensive process that ultimately makes Massachusetts a more efficient and competitive place to live and work, while driving economic growth. I encourage all other areas of state government to put in place a similar process.”
Executive Branch agencies will be charged with ensuring each regulation is clear and concise and that any newly proposed regulations are measured for their potential impact on businesses of all sizes or other entities, including municipalities and non-profits. Agencies will submit regulatory proposals and impact statements to their secretariat before review by the Secretary of Administration and Finance who will establish a process for encouraging public input, standards and schedules. The business and competitiveness impact statements will also be made available on the Commonwealth’s website. The Secretary of Administration and Finance may also provide for waivers or exceptions to regulations essential to public health, safety, environment or welfare.
“Making Massachusetts a better place for job creation and business development will require conducting a thorough review of our onerous regulatory environment,” said Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Administration and Finance. “I look forward to working with my fellow secretariats and all stakeholders to establish a careful and complete regulatory review process. We will ensure that all regulations administered by the Executive Department benefit the Commonwealth without undue burdens or costs and serve a legitimate purpose in making Massachusetts a safe, healthy, and effective place to do business.”
Only those regulations which are mandated by law or essential to the health, safety, environment, or welfare of the Commonwealth’s residents shall be retained or modified. In order to find that a regulation meets this standard, the government agency conducting the review must demonstrate that: there is a clearly identified need for governmental intervention that is best addressed by the agency and not another agency or governmental body; the costs of the regulation do not exceed the benefits; the regulation does not exceed federal requirements or duplicate local requirements; there are not any less intrusive or restrictive alternatives; the regulation does not unduly and adversely affect Massachusetts citizens and customers of the Commonwealth, or the competitive environment in Massachusetts; there is a formal process in place for measuring the effectiveness of the regulation; and, the regulation is time-limited or provides for regular review.