Gov. Larry Hogan established the Regulatory Reform Commission on July 9 and appointed 10 leaders from throughout the state to review state regulations’ impact on businesses.
“For years, over-burdensome and out-of-control regulations were making it impossible for businesses to stay in Maryland,” Hogan said. “We promised a top-to-bottom review of all state regulations and policies to make sure that Maryland could once again operate under a fair, accountable and balanced regulatory climate. This commission will look to see what regulations have outlived their usefulness, have failed to accomplish their objectives, or are so poorly written, implemented, or interpreted that they cause much more harm than good.”
James Soltesz, head of the Rockville-based engineering firm Soltesz, will lead the commission along with co-chair Abba David Poliakoff, member of Baltimore law firm Gordon Feinblatt LLC.
The commission will hold public meetings throughout the state to gather input on how what Hogan calls the “regulatory climate” affects the state’s ability to attract businesses and create jobs. The meetings and reviews will focus on all areas of regulation, from transportation to banking and health care, according to Hogan.
Soltesz said he was happy with the appointment.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to accept this appointment by Governor Hogan and Lieutenant Governor Rutherford. I, and the Commission, will work diligently and intensely to transform the regulatory environment in the State to foster significant job growth and prosperity for all Marylanders,” he said in writing.
During Hogan’s campaign for governor, he repeatedly said former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration did not foster a positive business climate in the state, citing low rankings among all 50 states in business climate.
The commission will submit a report of its findings by Dec. 1 each year, and the executive order remains in place for three years, according to the Hogan administration.
The other members of the commission are Susan Ganz, CEO of apparel manufacturer Lion Brothers Company Inc.; Jay Steinmetz, CEO of Barcoding Inc.; Henry Gilford III, head of general contractor Gilford Corp.; William Grant, CEO of First United Bank and Trust; Jennifer Rhodes, farmer and extension educator in Queen Anne’s County; Joseph Baldwin, CEO of Reliable Contracting; Howard Bowen, president of Ewing Oil Company; and James Brady, Mid-Atlantic managing director of Ballantrae International Ltd.