House hearing debates role of regulations


Washington – The debate over regulation and its effect on the economy continued during a Feb. 1 House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing that primarily focused on job creation but often veered into the toll that government rules – such as OSHA standards – take on companies.

Kellie Johnson, president of Torrance, CA-based manufacturer Ace Clearwater Enterprises, testified that her company spends more than $150,000 on consulting firms and a labor attorney to help navigate federal regulations.

Johnson said that during trips to Washington, agencies have been helpful in informing her as to what the government is working on, but she stressed there “needs to be some way to get this information outside of the beltway to the employers.”

In response to suggestions that federal OSHA has been pressuring Michigan’s state-run occupational safety and health agency to issue more citations and fines, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) testified that although some “bad people” need to be caught, state employees are trained to help employers succeed.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) spoke on his state’s recent law requiring employers to provide workers with paid sick time. The result, he said, has not adversely affected the economy and will lead to a healthier and safer state.

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