Hogan Regulation “Review”

This is right out of the decades-old, Ronald Reagan-inspired right wing playbook. It’s about to be Christmas in July for businesses in Maryland. At least Larry Hogan got the right wording on the new signs.

Vowing to free Maryland businesses from what he called “nonsensical, out-of-control” regulations, Gov. Larry Hogan launched a commission Thursday charged with reviewing every rule on the state’s books with an eye to streamlining or eliminating them.

The Republican governor, following up on campaign promises, told reporters that his new Regulatory Reform Commission will make recommendations to eliminate regulations that discourage businesses from coming to or staying in Maryland.
“We promise a top-to-bottom review of all regulations and policies to make sure that Maryland can once again operate under a fair, accountable and balanced regulatory climate,” Hogan said. He said the panel will target rules that are outdated, failed to meet their goals, or are poorly drafted or implemented.

Unlike some other attempts at regulatory boondoggle, Hogan isn’t even pretending to any kind of balance. All bidniz, all the time, forever and ever amen.

Critics objected to the composition of the 10-member panel, which is made up almost entirely of business interests. Six of the members, including co-chair James A. Soltesz, were identified as chief executive officers of companies and a seventh as president. The other co-chair is Baltimore securities lawyer Abba David Poliakoff of the firm Gordon Feinblatt.

The other members include a representative of the agricultural community and Hogan transition chief James T. Brady, a former secretary of business and economic development.
The group included no representatives of labor, environmental organizations or nonprofits — groups that typically seek a role in how regulations are written and enforced. Aides to the governor said more people might be added.

In response to concerns about the makeup of the panel, Hogan’s spokesman was blunt:

Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer said the governor wants a panel that reflects the business interests.

“It represents the governor’s point of view,” he said.

Well, there you have it. Boss Larry is happy, so everybody else should either go along or shut up.

One more front has just opened up in what promises to be an all-out war between Hogan and the General Assembly. Expect fighting to be intense, and the casualties to be heavy.