Regulatory Reform Steering Committee Releases First Report
Concord, NH – Today Governor Sununu announced the release of theRegulatory Reform Steering Committee's first report. The report includesrecommendations for the 2018 Legislative Session, additional non-legislativeactions for the Governor to consider, and a brief outline of additionalregulatory areas that the Committee plans to examine further.
The centerpiece of the Committee's 2018 legislativerecommendations is a proposal for a comprehensive regulatory reform bill, HB1104, to address permitting processes, occupational and professional licensure,business formation and startups, inconsistencies between state and localbuilding and fire codes, and compliance reviews for foster homes. TheCommittee's current draft of HB 1104 is included as an exhibit to its reportand will be introduced at a hearing of the House Resources, Recreation andDevelopment Committee on Tuesday, January 23rd.
"The Regulatory Reform Steering Committee has put forth someexcellent recommendations that will go a long way toward streamlininggovernment and changing the regulatory culture in New Hampshire," said GovernorChris Sununu. "I look forward to working closely with the Committee,legislative leaders, and stakeholders as we go through the legislative processand work toward passing the Committee's recommendations into law. Theseproposals represent some of the most comprehensive regulatory reform effortsthat New Hampshire has ever seen, and we are just getting started."
"In a highly competitive national economy, to remain uniqueand maximize our advantage as a small state, New Hampshire must transition to amodern and responsible regulatory process administered by an accountable stategovernment with predictable timelines and solution-oriented practices," saidCommissioner Taylor Caswell. "This important report is the first of what I hopewill be many more that take us in a bold direction as a state and maximize theNew Hampshire Advantage."
As currently drafted, HB 1104 would:
- Provide for reciprocal licensure in New Hampshire for all persons licensed to practice an occupation or profession in another state.
- Reduce certain processing timelines for wetlands permits.
- Reduce the retroactive enforcement period for property owners who acquire property where wetlands violations have taken place.
- Empower and require DES to establish a Certified Application Preparer Program for smaller wetlands projects. This would allow for expedited processing of projects that are determined to have minimum impact (the vast majority of projects).
- Reduce the processing timeline for wetlands projects in public waterways.
- Reduce processing timelines for Alteration of Terrain Permits.
- Reduce the default processing timeline for all permits for which there is no timeline specified in statute.
- Allow an agency to extend the processing timeline for any permit only upon written agreement of the applicant.
- Provide that where an agency fails to act within a specified timeline, a permit shall be granted by default.
- Require the Secretary of State to make online filing available for all required forms for corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and non-profits by January 1, 2020.
- Amend the statute for the State Building Code to provide that it cannot conflict with the state fire code.
- Prohibit municipalities from adopting regulations that would lead to conflicts in their local building codes and fire codes.
Give the State Fire Marshal sole authority tomake final decisions on foster homes' compliance with state fire safety lawsand local ordinances.