LG Burt Jones Announces ‘Red Tape Rollback’

Dave Williams

Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

Capitol Beat is a nonprofit news service operated by the Georgia Press Educational Foundation that provides coverage of state government to newspapers throughout Georgia. For more information visit capitol-beat.org.

Lt. Gov. Burt Jones unveiled a legislative push Tuesday aimed at reducing the size and scope of state government while making it easier for Georgians to get business licenses.

The Republican-backed multi-pronged “Red Tape Rollback” is being supported by the state’s leading business organizations, including the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

“Georgia has built the nation’s best business environment, and we want to keep it that way,” Jones, the state Senate’s presiding officer, said Tuesday.

“A regulatory environment promoting competition, while encouraging the startup and expansion of new businesses, and taking the heavy hand of government out of the equation is a priority. The reforms the Senate will lead on this year will reduce costs and paperwork while minimizing uncertainty for those who want to start or grow a business in Georgia.”

State Senate Republicans plan to introduce legislation during the upcoming General Assembly session to:

  • improve the process of obtaining professional and occupational licenses while giving state licensing boards more flexibility.

  • empower Georgia lawmakers to obtain economic analyses of proposed legislation and agency regulations that would affect small businesses.

  • expand the legal definition of “small business” in Georgia from 100 to 300 employees.

  • eliminate defunct or duplicative state boards or commissions.

Efforts to reform state licensing boards aren’t limited to state Senate Republicans. GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger formed a commission earlier this year that is looking for ways to reform Georgia’s business licensing process.

Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber, praised the lieutenant governor Tuesday for championing the cause of easing business regulations.

“As Georgia has just been named the best state in which to do business for the 10th consecutive year, our statewide business community relies on thought leaders like Lt. Gov. Jones to ensure we expand Georgia’s global competitiveness to attract new investment and create opportunity,” Clark said.

The 2024 session of the General Assembly will begin Jan. 8.

About Dave Williams

Dave Williams has covered state government and politics in Georgia since 1999 and for several years before that, covered Georgia’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. He began his career in radio news in Florida and Upstate New York.