Special Committee on Regulatory Reform and Review Aims to Simplify, Streamline City Code
PHILADELPHIA, December 14, 2017 – In its final session of the year, per the recommendation of the City’s Committee on Legislative Oversight, City Council passed several bills that discard non-essential, confusing language in the Philadelphia Code. This vote is a critical first step in helping simplify the City Code, following the completion of the first round of assessments conducted earlier this year by the Special Committee on Regulatory Review and Reform, of which Councilman Derek Green (At Large) is co-chair – aimed at streamlining business procedures and revising regulations in the City.
“I called for the creation of the Special Committee on Regulatory Review and Reform because mutual respect and fairness in government and the private sector are necessary for equitable economic growth,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) said. “Further, the Philadelphia Code should reflect our City’s values, which is why repealing regulations regarding premarital health examinations for women, enacted at a time when women did not have equal rights under the law, is the right and necessary thing to do. I applaud the Special Committee on their diligence and dedication to making sure Philadelphia is truly the welcoming City we know it can be.”
Based on initial feedback from the Kenney Administration and various subcommittees of the Special Committee, Council voted on a total of 7 bills that will remove antiquated verbiage, virtually doing away with otherwise obsolete guidelines that would interfere with and inhibit the operation of businesses throughout the City. These include Bill No. 170799 (Miscellaneous Standards and Requirements – prohibiting the use of a “shoe fluoroscope”) and Bill No. 170796 (“Use of Electronic Scanners for Customer Checkout”).
“We want to create a much smoother, less rigorous experience for those looking to do business and invest in Philadelphia,” said Councilman Green. “Too often, we hear how much red tape there is and how unfriendly our City is to small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to actually grow here. We have a far more affordable cost of living than New York City or even Washington, D.C., among a plethora of other attractive amenities that we offer. Therefore, we can’t let something like outdated rules stand in the way of future opportunities for stimulating economic growth.”
“We applaud City Council and the Kenney Administration on this initial action for meaningful regulatory reform for the City of Philadelphia,” said Rob Wonderling, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “We look forward to our continued collaborative efforts to modernize the City’s regulatory environment for all businesses and citizens.”
A total of 9 additional bills were introduced to further simplify the Code, by Special Committee Members Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez (7th District), Councilman Al Taubenberger (At-Large) and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District).
“The work being conducted by the Special Committee on Regulatory Review and Reform is an excellent example of what collaboration between the private sector and local government can look like,” said Commerce Department Director Harold T. Epps. “I am encouraged by the movement taking place, including these changes to simplify the Philadelphia Code, and look forward to continuing our partnership in order to make Philadelphia more competitive.”
Councilman Derek S. Green, Esquire is currently serving his first term as an At-Large member of Philadelphia City Council. Green is Chair of Council’s Committee on the Disabled and Persons with Special Needs. More information at www.phlcouncil.com/DerekGreen