Governor Reynolds: Trying to ease the way for startups

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds delivering the "Condition of the State" address at the Iowa State Capitol. Clay & Milk file photo

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced a renewed commitment to eliminate red tape and excessive regulations from state government Tuesday and three initiatives to decrease regulations and ease the burden on small business and startups.

The initiatives were announced after new research was released showing the state of Iowa has 160,000 restrictions, ranking fifth among 20 states studied by the Mercatus Center. The data suggests Iowa’s administrative code is overly burdensome to business and industry and impacts growing the economy.

She said that while legislators create legislation with good intentions, small businesses and startups do not have the resources to research, implement and comply with the regulations currently in place.

“We want to encourage them to grow and expand in the state,” Reynolds said.

The three initiatives Reynolds highlighted to decrease regulations was the jobs impact statement—initiated by former Gov. Terry Branstad in 2011—a 5-year review of rules, and the Iowa Administrative Rules tool that allows Iowans to comment on any rule in the Notice process.

The jobs impact statement mandates a statement be made by an administrative agency when it proposes a new rule to the Administrative Rules Committee. The statement should include any costs to the state, local governments, public or regulated industries and positive or negative impacts on private sector jobs.

The first review of rules is coming to fruition this year and will ensure there are no regulation duplications from the federal government and are appropriate adjustments for current technologies.

Laura Jones—a visiting research fellow at the Mercatus Center—said excess regulations negatively impact job creation and the economy.

“The first step in moderation in rule-making is knowing how many rules there are,” Jones said.

Mike Ralston—president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry—said regulations are part of doing business but cost Iowa companies millions of dollars each year.

“The great thing about regulatory reform is it is an impactful issue,” Ralston said. “It’s not a partisan issue, it’s not very sexy or glamorous, but it has a lot of impact in the business world.”

To view the Iowa data, click here.

Morgan Garner covers the Iowa Statehouse for Clay & Milk