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Governor Baker – Why We Need Regulatory Reform

Posted on May 26, 2015

Editor’s Note – Governor Charles D. Baker delivered the following remarks about regulatory reform to the AIM Annual Meeting on May 8.

I also want to talk a little bit about what we’re doing with respect to regulatory reform. I look at regulatory reform as sort of the equivalent of cleaning out your basement. It’s something you probably ought to do every couple of years whether you want to do it or not.

Baker.2015The organizations that complained to me the most about the Commonwealth’s regulatory structure over the course of the campaign, were cities and towns. By far.

Now there are 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, and 250 of them have less than 20,000 people. We’re basically a conglomeration of a lot of small towns and a few mid-sized cities and then one big one, Boston.

Those communities have all the same issues in dealing with regulatory complexity that you would expect that small and mid-sized businesses would have. Or small and mid-sized non-profits. Or small and mid-sized educational institutions.

Regulatory reform in some respects, from my point of view, is about providing the clarity and simplicity, and in some cases, the modernization of the way the state engages in regulatory activity to create a framework so that the small can play in the same playing field as the large.

For larger businesses, complex regulatory environments are a problem. For small and mid-sized organizations, in many cases, they’re the difference between thriving and barely or maybe not at all getting by. And that’s why this initiative, to me, is so important.

It’s also important because it forces the Commonwealth, and this is a good thing, to have to have a conversation with the people it regulates, about what it does and how it does it, and how it might be able to do it better.

And anybody who doesn’t think that’s a valuable exercise needs to think really hard about how they go about managing their own enterprise and their own organization. This is about introspection as much as anything else. And it’s about time.