- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut has abolished nearly 1,000 pages of obsolete and unnecessary rules that include a ban on women working alone in early morning hours and regulations for billing procedures dating to 1976.

Lobbyists for businesses and small municipalities say the law signed Wednesday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is a good start.

“This is the type of thing that should be an annual exercise by the legislature,” said Andy Markowski, Connecticut state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. “Chip away at the regulatory problem,”

Malloy solicited public comment and ordered state agencies to review all regulations in their jurisdictions. The results were an avalanche of regulations that cited outdated forms and procedures, were linked to federal or state programs that no longer exist, were duplicated in other laws or were superseded by technology that automatically updates records.


The legislation drew no controversy, passing the House and Senate unanimously.

Bonnie Stewart, a lobbyist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, called the new law an important first step to ease regulations. The loss of the rules is not a big deal, but will make doing business in Connecticut easier, she said.

“Anyone who does anything in this state, to figure out what you need to do, an extra 1,000 pages makes a difference,” Stewart said.

She said she does not believe any regulation that was tossed was controversial. Asked if the regulations that no longer exist contained anything remarkable, Stewart said, “Absolutely not.”

Too often, state regulations go further than similar federal rules, she said. “There’s something a little different that makes compliance more difficult,” Stewart said.

Municipalities, too, pressed their case to the Malloy administration and the legislature over state regulations. But in one instance, the Connecticut Council on Small Towns successfully opposed an effort to repeal a regulation.

An initial proposal would have shifted oversight of noise control from the state to municipalities, the small towns group told lawmakers in March. “Abruptly eliminating the state Noise Pollution Control Program will leave a significant oversight gap, jeopardizing public health and safety,” it told lawmakers.

Businesses have unsuccessfully opposed Malloy on several measures such as raising the minimum wage, requiring certain businesses to provide paid sick leave to employees and raising income and sales taxes in 2011. Businesses appreciate lighter regulations, though Malloy’s move will not make up for the previous business setbacks, Markowsky said.

“This does not make all those other things go away,” he said.

___

Follow Stephen Singer at https://twitter.com/SteveSinger10