State Representative Glen Bradley of North Carolina has introduced a bill protecting small businesses and encouraging job growth through regulatory reform:
NC House Bill 587 – Job Growth Through Regulatory Reform
The bill directs the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) to perform a comprehensive flexibility analysis prior to enacting regulatory legislation which would affect small businesses in North Carolina. The process includes a requirement to summarize existing regulations and the proposed changes to it, cost-benefit analysis, and a summary of the methodology of that analysis. It offers a time period during which any affected person may challenge the proposal and call upon judicial review. Most importantly, it requires that the review board determine whether the rule is within the clear authority delegated by the General Assembly – and that no reasonable argument can be made that the authority does not exist.
The oversight agency that performs the analysis is instructed to reject any proposed legislative changes wherein:
1) costs exceed benefits
2) there is a less costly, reasonable alternative
3) such changes will not achieve the stated purpose.
The bill directs agencies to annually review changes for any adverse impact on small businesses, and aims to protect consumers from potential abuse by public utilities by prohibiting any action leading to higher prices unless clearly justified as an improvement in service. It adds further safeguards by allowing any utility consumer to petition the Utilities Commission for a review of such justification.