By Marc Kovac
Backers hope a new state website will enable Ohioans to keep better tabs on proposed rules and regulations that could affect their households and businesses.
Rule Watch Ohio (rule-watchohio.org) was unveiled during a press conference Monday morning at the Statehouse by Senate Republicans.
“It can be complicated; it can be cumbersome to try to track the rules that are coming out of various state agencies,” said Sen. Frank LaRose, a Republican from the Akron area involved in the development of Rule Watch Ohio. He added, “The hope of this is that by more Ohioans and advocacy groups and independent businessmen and women getting involved in this process, they can bring to light so that we can address when there is a rule that may fail that common sense test or could use a little bit of improvement.”
The website allows users to track regulations being considered by the state’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, which signs off on thousands of rules affecting 120 state agencies annually.
Rules can be tracked by subject or agency, with electronic notifications sent whenever new regulations are being considered. The site also includes schedules for coming JCARR hearings, plus information on how to submit comments in support of or opposition to proposed rules.
“We all know that the rules and regulations that various state agencies promulgate nearly on a daily basis have an impact on business, on communities, on families,” LaRose said. “And many of those rules are needed and justified and provide the essential protections that we rely on as a state. There are, however, from time to time, rules that, although well-intentioned and well-meaning, may fail the common-sense test.”