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Agency Impacts on Small Business Looked At
Most agencies merely “check the box”

State Agency impacts on small businesses in rulemaking HB2334 When the legislature passes new laws, they often then need to pass that law onto an appropriate state agency who then writes administrative rules for how the new law actually works. For example, in 2017, Oregon became the first state in the nation to impose a bike tax on the purchase of new bikes over $200 with the passage of HB 2017. Rules pertaining to the implementation, collection or expenditure of the new tax would need administrative rules written and the Department of Transportation was tasked with writing those rules.

During the last year, various state agencies took drastic measures in writing temporary and permanent administrative rules under the umbrella of public health and safety. Often these rules were written with little consideration of the impact to private businesses that would be affected by the administrative rules. This despite a current law that requires them to do so. ORS 183.336 – Cost of compliance effect on small businesses. The ORS states that the statement of cost of compliance effect on small businesses must include:

(a)An estimate of the number of small businesses subject to the proposed rule and identification of the types of businesses and industries with small businesses subject to the proposed rule;
(b)A brief description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other administrative activities required for compliance with the proposed rule, including costs of professional services;
(c)An identification of equipment, supplies, labor and increased administration required for compliance with the proposed rule; and
(d)A description of the manner in which the agency proposing the rule involved small businesses in the development of the rule.

HB 2334 would help reinforce the original goal by making sure that agencies actually consider the economic consequences of either temporary or permanent rules at the time the rule is being developed. During testimony, Samantha Bayer, with Oregon Farm Bureau stated that “Unfortunately, instead of earnestly undertaking the small business impacts analysis and mitigating the impacts of costly administrative rules on Oregon’s small businesses, most agencies have chosen to treat the analysis as merely a cursory “check the box” step in passing administrative rules”. She also addressed this last year which has been filled with temporary rules stating that “Under current law, agencies are not required to undertake the small business impacts analysis for temporary rules, which can last up to 180 days and subsequently be made permanent”.

Agricultural workers were also hit with their own set of changed administrative rules and some of them were very costly. Sanitation facilities went from 1 for every 20 workers to 1 for every 10. So, field sanitation units for a farm had to double almost overnight. The average cost is around $5,000 per unit. They were also required to be completely disinfected three times a day adding cleaning and labor costs onto the farm operator.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The bill is sponsored by Representative Bonham (R-The Dalles) who is himself a small business owner. He owns Maupin’s Stoves and Spas in Maupin, OR. During his introduction of the bill to the committee, he reminded them that he is a small business owner, and that this bill hits close to home.

He told the committee that “what we are really hoping for, is for small business to be considered with any rulemaking change that could have a direct fiscal impact on small business and then consideration of what measures or what threshold of business could be considered to potentially remove that that undue burden on small business”.

The bill has until March 18th to be scheduled for a work session in order to move forward.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-03-12 08:39:23Last Update: 2021-03-12 08:59:55



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