CHAMBERSBURG – The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, chaired by State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33), held a public hearing in Chambersburg today to hear from regional businesses, economic development specialists and others on the need for regulatory reform.
Entitled “Regulatory Reform, Red Tape Reduction and Transparency,” the hearing was hosted by Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg.
“Most of us want to live our lives and run our businesses with as little government interference as possible, yet it seems like the Harrisburg bureaucracy has lost its way and forgotten who it works for – it works for us, the taxpayers,” said Mastriano, who represents a portion of Franklin County, including Chambersburg, in the Senate.
“Instead of working for us, or with us, it seems like government is working against us in many ways,” continued Mastriano. “Clearly, our government bureaucracy is too bloated, too cumbersome, too out of control and is indeed against us. It is time that we rein it in and hold it accountable.”
The committee heard from more than a dozen speakers, with expertise ranging from economic and land development, regulatory code, business advocacy and municipal government. Small business owners also took part.
Among the testifiers was Franklin County Area Development Corporation President Mike Ross, who told the committee that excessive regulations and unfunded government mandates are a major determinant in a decision to expand or start a business in Pennsylvania, or to relocate to another state.
Bryan Burkholder, Vice President of Shively Motors in Chambersburg, outlined one burdensome regulation. The Pennsylvania Department of State requires that each vehicle salesperson undergo a criminal background check, including a separate background check from each state that the applicant resided in the last five years. The department will not accept a 50-state background check, even though they are available. Obtaining individual state background checks means salespeople are hired but may wait weeks before they can actually perform their job.
The panel heard from other businesses in the region, along with testimony from the York County Economic Alliance, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Chambersburg Borough, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, and statewide business groups.
Representing the host venue, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Executive Vice President J. Anthony Martin participated as a panelist.
Adams County businessman Mike Showers, of Aspers, spoke about the selective enforcement that he has faced from state agencies.
Mastriano noted that the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee was assigned several pieces of legislation that would update and modernize the regulatory review process, and that testimony received during the hearing will be a valuable tool as the panel considers the legislation.
“It is time that we get the government off our backs and out of our wallets,” said Mastriano. “Pennsylvania needs to reassert that it is open for business and the government is working for the people, not against the people.”
Video of the hearing is posted at www.senatormastriano.com.
CONTACT: Scot Pitzer (717) 787-4651, firstname.lastname@example.org.