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Legislature should cap regulations, think tank researchers advise

December 6, 2017

Charleston Gazette-Mail,

December 4, 2017-

Working from the premise that regulations hinder the economy, researchers from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University on Monday encouraged legislators to consider setting caps on the number of regulations state agencies can impose. “There’s increasing academic evidence that regulation, especially federal regulation, can be a drag on economic growth,” Mercatus Center research fellow James Broughel told members of two legislative interim committees Monday. Broughel said he is in the process of quantifying levels of regulation in all 50 states.

By scanning state regulations to key on words such as “must” and “shall,” Broughel said he determined that West Virginia has 125,700 regulatory restrictions. “In terms of restrictions, you’re in the middle of the pack of the 18 states we’ve studied so far,” he said. Agencies with the highest number of regulations, he said, are the departments of Health and Education, and the Public Service Commission, while the most-regulated industries are utilities, health care services, mining and manufacturing.

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