Ohio needs reform
In response to the July 3 editorial, “Cut state regulations? Not in this way”: Ohio desperately needs regulatory reform that eliminates unnecessary regulations that strangle private industry and enterprise as part of the state’s broader reform efforts to boost economic growth. If Ohio does not focus its regulations and rules on protecting the public from genuine harm, the state will continue to see slower growth and lower prosperity compared to many other states.
Some regulations, of course, are essential for preserving public health and safety. No one wants doctors using unsterilized medical equipment, or inadequately trained engineers designing bridges, or toxic chemicals polluting our soil and waterways. Requiring appropriate education and training for physicians, health care providers, pilots and truck drivers helps safeguard the general public in our hospitals and on our roads and runways.
However, the same cannot be said with respect to auctioneers, travel guides and hairdressers — all currently subject to Ohio’s byzantine and overly restrictive licensing requirements.
There are provisions in the state budget that require every state agency to take a closer look at its existing restrictions and then requires them to prepare an inventory of those restrictions in order to begin limiting and reducing their numbers.
Canada’s British Columbia adopted a similar policy creating a regulation inventory and then capping the maximum allowable regulatory restrictions. Since 2001, British Columbia has reduced its regulatory restrictions by nearly 50 percent — without endangering public safety.
A comprehensive inventory of agency restrictions will give policymakers a clearer picture of where the state’s bureaucratic red tape truly lies; and a cap on regulatory restrictions will compel agencies and the General Assembly to carefully consider and prioritize any new restriction proposed.
Greg R. Lawson, research fellow
The Buckeye Institute, Columbus
Helping political friends
Two opinion pieces on June 23 (“No way to craft an energy strategy” and “Why Ohio must save its nuclear power plants”) provide facts that clearly prove that Ohio’s residents will receive both economic and health benefits from retaining operation of the two nuclear power plants. House Bill 6, which theoretically will save the plants, also highlights a number of deep problems with the political system in Ohio and the nation. A few obvious problems are as follows:
• The gerrymandered Ohio legislature will do what benefits Ohioans if they also receive long-sought benefits for their financial supporters (elimination of the existing energy efficiency and renewable energy standards and financial support for environmentally problematic coal-burning power plants) — which mitigate the environmental benefits of the bill.
• The media are being flooded with deceptive and contrary ads supporting H.B. 6.
• Financially saving the plants with increased public rates does not result in government ownership or even seats on the utility’s controlling board. Rather, we will maintain our historic arrangement of limited state oversight of nuclear power plants.
In summary, we have created political systems in which solving problems for the people often resembles a political minefield.
James L. Greener, Ravenna
Not so friendly
Kim Jong Un, Mohammed bin Salman, Vladimir Putin. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Joan Miller, Akron