Some push-back is under way, but key Republicans appear happy that Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered a suspension in state agency rule-making today. She said it was to relieve pressure and give predictability to small businesses that are struggling.
Here is Gregoire's announcement.
Republican Rep. Ed Orcutt of Kalama put out this statement saying it was in response to his request in August for a suspension of rules. "This is good for our state budget situation and good for our economy," Orcutt said in his statement. "It will give our employers some certainty and help them focus on expanding the economy and leading us out of the current recession."
Gregoire's executive order 10-06 is here, and guidance giving the Office of Financial Management consider exceptions is here.
The Washington Toxics Coalition put out a statement of concern that ongoing rules to limit toxins in children’s toys should be allowed to proceed. It said:
"Last month we applauded the Department of Ecology and the Governor for issuing a proposed rule to require children's product manufacturers for the first time ever to disclose the presence of up to 59 harmful chemicals in their products. We fully expect the Governor and the Department of Ecology to move forward with the public comment period and the scheduled December public hearing as the rule is exempted in the executive order and accompanying guidance. The rule targets the largest manufactures for reporting first, so it does not impact small business.Harmful chemicals have no place in children's toys. It is the state's responsibility to protect the health of the most vulnerable populations, including children. According to a recent poll conducted by The Mellman Group, a majority of Americans favor government action to get rid of toxic chemicals in consumer products.
The governor's news release announcing the decision said this:
"State rules are essential to protecting the health, safety, welfare and quality of life for Washingtonians. However, in these unprecedented economic times, this action will provide businesses with stability and predictability they need to help with our state's recovery," Gregoire said. "The time and effort small business owners would put into meeting new requirements would be better spent in improving their bottom line, and adding new employees. This action will also allow local governments to focus their limited resources on the most critical issues in their communities."Gregoire stressed that small businesses are the key to our state's economic recovery, adding that 95 percent of Washington small businesses have fewer than 50 employees. Small businesses also create two-thirds of all new jobs."We want businesses to create jobs," Gregoire said. "And we want our partners in cities and counties to serve their communities as efficiently as possible. This executive order will also allow our state agencies to focus on delivering the front line services Washingtonians are depending on."