Rhode Island Law Lightens Burden of Regulations

On November 9, Rhode Island Governor Carcieri signed into law Senate Bill 290, which aims to help reduce the burden of unfair regulations on small businesses. The bill, sponsored by Senator Leo R. Blais, establishes a chapter in Rhode Island General Laws for small business regulatory fairness in administrative procedures. It also calls for the designation of a small business enforcement ombudsman by the director of the economic development corporation. The ombudsman will work with the state agencies to ensure that small business concerns are addressed. The bill also directs the state’s Small Business Advocacy Council to advise the ombudsman on issues relating to small business concerns and agency enforcement.

 Senator Blais serves on the Senate’s Small Business Task Force, which explores ways to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses in the state. Although S.B. 290 predates the task force, many of the task force’s objectives are incorporated in the bill.  

 “I am pleased to see this important legislation pass the Assembly,” said Senator Blais. “Small businesses have historically been a significant facet of our state’s economy, and will be even more so as we work to get out of this recession. This bill will help small business owners do what they do best—run their businesses—instead of spending countless hours dealing with the hassle posed by unfair regulations.”

—Kate Reichert, Regulatory and Legislative Counsel

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