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Small business owners and entrepreneurs drive Florida’s economy. Their willingness to take risks and start new ventures is what the American dream is all about. Unfortunately, the government often gets in their way by piling on red tape and regulations.
Has red tape made life more complicated for you? If so, we want to help make your voice heard. Tell us your story so we can urge lawmakers to get rid of barriers to opportunity and let Floridians get to work.
Red tape refers to unnecessary paperwork or barriers that the government puts in the way of people trying to make a living. Often these barriers are the result of old laws that were never repealed. Other times, industries lobby for new barriers to protect themselves from competition.
Heather Kokesch Del Castillo, a veteran and Florida resident, got tangled in red tape when she tried to earn extra income as a health and fitness coach. Instead of allowing her to continue her work, the government sent Del Castillo a cease and desist letter because she didn’t have a license. This is just one example of red tape preventing someone from improving their life and serving others.
State agencies impose numerous regulations on Florida businesses and residents. While some of these requirements are good, others are too complex, redundant or simply unnecessary. Reducing red tape means Floridians can spend more time on their businesses, hobby or craft instead of wasting time on paperwork. It also means Floridians would be more free to make their own decisions and create more opportunities without government getting in their way.
The Red Tape Reduction Act is a proven model with a commonsense approach to reform. The act requires agencies to eliminate old regulations before new ones can be adopted. It works like this:
Step 1: State agencies are required to count how many requirements they impose through regulation.
Step 2: After establishing a regulatory baseline of total regulations, agencies are tasked with reducing the overall regulatory requirements by 35 percent.
Step 3: To reach the 35 percent threshold, agencies have to eliminate two regulations for every new one that is introduced.
Step 4: Once the threshold is met, the agencies are expected to eliminate one requirement from every new regulation that is introduced, establishing a cap in the total number of regulatory requirements.
What makes this model unique is that small business owners, industry leaders and the public at large will have the opportunity to offer examples of regulations that are burdensome, duplicative and unnecessary.
HB 791 & SB 1268 – Regulatory Reform by Representative Manny Diaz and Senator Keith Perry
This bill establishes the Red Tape Reduction Advisory Council, whose members’ primary purpose is to dig through the Florida Administrative Code to identify rules that are 1) duplicative or obsolete, 2) especially burdensome, 3) disproportionately harm small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, 4) disproportionately affect businesses with annual revenue less than $5m. To encourage agencies to be more judicious with their writing of future rules, the proposal also introduces a ceiling on the number of regulatory requirements that limit the introduction of future agency rules. For every new rule introduced, at least one must be cut: “one-in, one-out”.
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