Maine lawmakers approve regulatory rollback bill

Posted June 07, 2011, at 8:41 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate has unanimously approved a wide-ranging bill to ease the state’s regulatory burden on businesses, sending the measure to Gov. Paul LePage, who promises to sign it.

The Senate’s 34-0 vote Tuesday followed last month’s 147-3 House vote. The bill resulted from a special legislative committee’s “red tape tour” across the state to hear suggestions from businesses on how to relax or remove regulatory burdens.

Some of its provisions call for state agencies to conduct benefit-and-cost analysis of proposed rules, create a business ombudsman within the Department of Economic and Community Development and have a special advocate within the Secretary of State’s office. It also calls for eliminating repetitive state and municipal licensing and health inspections of eating establishments.