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Senate package aims to improve biz climate

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PROVIDENCE – State senators have introduced another package of bills aiming to “make it easy to do business in Rhode Island.”

In a news release Tuesday, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed said: “Government should facilitate business and job growth, not hinder it. Our 2012 package of bills address[es] some of the regulatory concerns in state and local government that have slowed down business development.”

Some of the package, dubbed “2012 Making It Easy to Do Business,” was introduced in previous sessions while others are new.

The package includes bills addressing:

  • A statewide, uniform, electronic building permitting system that cities and towns could participate in at no charge.

  • A more flexible and less costly fire code for small businesses.

  • Matching Rhode Island job vacancies with unemployed Rhode Islanders who may need added skills.

  • A major recommendation of the Rhode Island Small Business Administration’s Annual Summit: Stop delays in local building permits when cutting into curbs.

  • Making sense out of duplicate and out-dated state business regulations.

  • Improve Rhode Island’s ranking as the most regulated state for land use.

  • Provide on-the-job training for unemployed workers who need new skills and a chance to prove themselves.

    The news release said that the Senate made strides addressing business concerns regarding government red tape, access to capital and work force development in 2010 and 2011.

    “We need to continue to improve our business climate. We have restructured our income tax code to address the perception that our highest tax rate was higher than that of our neighbors. We invested state funding in small business loans, a state computerized business registration system, CCRI’s workforce training program, and a predictable school aid funding formula. Clearly, our economy and our businesses have been the Senate’s focus, and 2012 will be no different,” said Weed.

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