Colorado Springs Roundtable Highlights a Wide Range of Regulatory Issues
By Bruce Lundegren, Assistant Chief Counsel
The Office of Advocacy hosted a Regional Regulatory Roundtable in Colorado Springs, Colorado on August 9, 2018, that attracted a number of small businesses and their representatives who were eager to discuss federal regulations that negatively impact small business.
The meeting began with a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association expressing concern about the way the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection evaluates consumer lending practices, which he thinks should be evaluated by a borrower’s credit scores rather than their location and zip code. Next, a machine tool manufacturer expressed concerns about export regulations for controlled areas and products, stating that certain countries, like Mexico – a NAFTA member – can import components and then assemble and export them to avoid export restrictions.
Many of the attendees also noted a shortage of qualified labor that was really hurting small business. Several cited the cost of health care as an impediment to growth. Others stated that their health insurance premiums and deductibles had sky rocketed and that recordkeeping requirements were excessive.
As is common at these roundtables, environmental and transportation issues figured prominently. A fireplace and patio products manufacturer complained about the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency’s woodstove burn test mandate, stating that there is no test to measure compliance by the 2020 deadline. He said he supported a Senate bill to extend the compliance deadline to 2023 to allow manufacturers more time to develop a test. He also noted that more people will continue to use older, less environmentally friendly wood stoves if the price of new units is driven up.
On the transportation front, a short line railroad company complained that the Federal Railroad Administration’s training and certification rules were redundant and overly complex. A small mining company stated that the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service rules need to be more flexible for short-haul drives.
Overall, it was a broad ranging and thoughtful discussion with small business owners from the Colorado Springs area.
Advocacy was in Wyoming and Colorado for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables August 7-9.
Can’t get to a roundtable near you? Fill out this form and tell us about your federal regulatory burdens. We will pass this information on to the appropriate agency and use it in the planning of upcoming Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables.
Bruce Lundegren is an Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy whose portfolio includes safety, transportation, and security. Lundegren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.