Malloy vetoes first bill of 2016 legislative session

On Tuesday, May 31, Gov. Dannel Malloy vetoed his first bill of the 2016 legislative session — Substitute Senate Bill No. 302, An Act Concerning the Impact of Proposed Regulations on Small Businesses.

The bill had the support of Wilton legislators. Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) voted in favor of the legislation during the Senate's April 21 session, and State Reps. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Tom O'Dea (R-125) did the same during the House's May 2 session.

According to Malloy's May 31 veto message, addressed to Secretary of State Denise Merrill, the bill would have expanded "the type of information that agencies must include in the regulatory flexibility analysis that accompanies each proposed regulation."

Under the current law, Malloy wrote, the regulatory flexibility analyses prepared by agencies "provide ways to minimize any adverse impact of the regulation on businesses with fewer than 75 employees."

The proposed bill would have not only expanded the requirement to make it apply to businesses with up to 250 employees, but also "require agencies to provide myriad additional information."

Malloy said he supports the legislation's intent — "to better understand and measure the impact of our regulatory framework on the small businesses in our state" — but the language in the bill is "overly broad and will place an undue burden on our agencies."

"For example," he said, "the bill requires that agencies identify 'the total number of small business potentially subject to the proposed regulation,' yet provides no guidance on how the term 'potentially' is to be defined."

Malloy said he is willing to work with proponents of the bill to address concerns and "craft a more refined bill to alleviate administrative burdens [on] our state's small businesses without imposing too great a burden on our state agencies."