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Proposal would eliminate one-third of Ohio’s code for rules and regulations

Ohio Administrative Code includes more than 17.4 million words for more than 300 state agencies and divisions
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio Administrative Code includes more than 17.4 million words for more than 300 state agencies and divisions

The DeWine administration has proposed eliminating one-third of the Ohio Administrative Code which details rules and regulations for more than 300 state agencies and divisions.

The administrative code contains more than 17.4 million words for the agencies and the businesses and organizations that fall under their authority.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, a Republican, said his office utilized artificial intelligence technology to identify duplicative provisions, outdated sections, and unnecessary requirements.

“There’s no reason that we would be so duplicative. We want to make it easier for people to comply, not harder,” said Husted during a press event to announce the proposal.

The proposal would wipe out 5 million words and more than 20,000 pages of code.

The Ohio Lottery Commission code would see some heavy editing through the proposal. Husted said about 10% of the words could be eliminated through their plan. This would get rid of more than 240 rules for games that are no longer played in Ohio.

Another big chunk of code would come from the higher education sections. Husted said Ohio is the only state that requires each university and community college to “individually adopt the entire contents of their university policies as regulation in the Ohio Administrative Code.”

Husted is suggesting 2.3 million words come out of that section.

Other areas of change would come from sections where federal code is written into the state code. Husted said the Ohio Administrative Code should be edited to only include the areas where state code diverges from federal code, making it easier for businesses to follow the differences.

Husted touted the change as a step forward for small businesses.

Roger Geiger, Ohio state executive director for the National Federation of Independent Business Inc., said 66% of small businesses have to hire outside help to comply with state regulations.

Geiger said eliminating code can make small businesses more efficient.

“Why are efficiencies important? In every business, large or small, an efficiently run business is usually their competitive advantage,” Geiger said.

The proposed eliminations will be included in Gov. Mike DeWine’s budget plan. That budget is expected to be rolled out next week as part of DeWine’s State of the State address on Jan. 31.

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