Op-Ed: PPC’s regulatory reduction secures a bright economic future for Kentucky

K. Gail Russell

By Secretary K. Gail Russell
Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Matthew Bevin, beginning his term in 2015, launched a Red Tape Reduction Initiative to reduce regulations burdening citizens and businesses of the Commonwealth. Following the Governor’s call to action, the Public Protection Cabinet cultivated a regulatory environment that stimulated the economy, removed burdensome regulatory barriers, invested in Kentucky’s workforce, and strengthened the financial foundation of the Commonwealth.

Over the last four years, the Cabinet and its agencies eliminated 350 regulations and amended 144 ineffective and outdated regulations. The cuts and economic stimulants brought hope and optimism to businesses and citizens, and decreasing the regulatory burden led to tangible benefits for the Commonwealth.

The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission knocked out regulations that stifled economic growth and investment. The Commission dramatically improved the quality and attendance of live events by removing the “Cut Rule,” requiring matches to cease even if the slightest cut resulted in visible blood. The requirement hindered Kentucky from hosting significant events, including televised WWE matches.

The Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) strengthened the rich heritage and tradition of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail by supporting the General Assembly’s legislation to improve distillery and microbrewery visitor experiences. Under the laws enacted since 2016, consumers are permitted to visit restaurants at distilleries, enjoy alcoholic beverages on-site, and purchase more souvenir alcohol packages to take home. ABC also supported House Bill 400, permitting licensed common carriers to ship Kentucky distilled spirits and wine to consumers under specific conditions. The tourist-friendly legislation allows out of state guests to join “bourbon of the month” and “wine of the month” clubs.

The Department of Insurance worked with the General Assembly to craft a regulatory “Sandbox,” permitting insurance companies to test and launch products and processes not contemplated by the insurance code. Such innovative and forward-thinking initiatives placed Kentucky in a leading role in the industry.

During this time, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission worked to enhance the vitality of the horse racing circuit throughout the Commonwealth by approving both the opening of a new harness track in Oak Grove and the sale of Turfway Park to Churchill Downs. Over the last four years, breeder incentive funds have driven investment in Kentucky. These advancements allow Kentucky to remain the horse capital of the world.

The Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction decreased construction costs for professionals and consumers by permitting PVC pipe to be used in towering buildings as an alternative to expensive steel piping, and introduced an electronic plan submission and review option, thereby decreasing review time by 40 percent.

As Governor Bevin’s term comes to a close, the Cabinet is most pleased to have helped to reduce the regulatory burdens that previously stifled economic growth in the Commonwealth. The sun truly shines bright on our old Kentucky home.

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