Rep. Rooney empowers the people to cut regulation

There is no better source than Floridians themselves to tell the state whether governmental rules and regulations are hurting them, and how.

That is the position taken by Florida legislators, and they are about to prove their sincerity, according to state Rep. Pat Rooney, R-West Palm Beach.

Florida business owners will likely rejoice at the news, but what does it really mean to them?

In a recent speech to the North Palm Beach Republican Club, Rooney introduced what he called a revolutionary tool to change the rules and regulations for Florida businesses, provided that enough participation is generated.

A survey, currently in draft form on, allows Floridians to log in and describe specific regulations that are onerous or duplicative. Submissions will go directly to the Rules and Regulations Committee of the Florida House, where Rooney has guaranteed action.
Gov. Rick Scott began the process of regulatory reform when he signed Executive Order 11-72 shortly after he took office, but there have been questions about the constitutionality of an order that requires all agencies to obtain formal approval from the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform prior to publishing rulemaking notices. The Florida Supreme Court ruled on Aug. 16 that the governor could not force such requirements. The agency will still have the authority to require information and give advice on all rulemaking, though. Meanwhile, the governor, in an Aug. 19 memo to all agency heads, reiterated his commitment to the mission of lessening the burden of regulation on citizens, taxpayers and businesses, regardless of the ruling.

In June 2011, OFFAR completed a comprehensive rule review, and listed 1,034 regulations from 15 agencies up for the repeal process. The majority fall under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Department, with another 183 from the water management districts.

As a continuing effort to identify and cut rules that may be “poorly conceived, do not achieve their intended purposes, or are otherwise unusually burdensome compared to their actual benefits,” the committee has created the survey to allow the public input on the elimination process.

According to Rooney, the leaders of this effort are serious about getting results. You can hear his comments in the following video and find the draft survey at


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