Representative Shannon Erickson thinks that practice is just plain wrong, and so do we. Her concerns were voiced via one of her grassroots constituent emails which she sent earlier this week:
Last week, the State Fire Marshal’s office submitted new regs with added fees & when Philip Lowe & I asked them to reconsider that, they immediately withdrew the fee increases. Very graciously, I might add!
Unfortunately, DHEC has several reg bills coming before committees that have fee/fine increases in them. Even with opposition voiced by businesses it affects, the agency has decided to move forward on the increases.
This just another way to tax the business sector of our state. You can call it what you want, but right now the business community simply cannot afford ANY raise in fees/taxes/etc.
One of the reasons we're impressed with Erickson is because she doesn't just gripe about problems - she takes action. She's sponsored legislation (House Bill 3576) which would require that:
... no state agency, department, or entity by regulation or otherwise may administratively increase or implement a fee for performing a service or function, or a civil penalty or fine for failure to comply with a requirement or provision of law under its jurisdiction without the specific approval of the increased or new fee, fine, or penalty by the General Assembly by concurrent resolution.
Brantley, Ballentine, Huggins, Bowen, Duncan, Vick, Chalk, Bedingfield, Nanney, Merrill, Haley, Toole, Allison, Anthony, Bannister, Bingham, Forrester, Hamilton, Hardwick, Hearn, Herbkersman, Horne, Limehouse, Long, Millwood, Owens, Parker, Parks, E.H. Pitts, M.A. Pitts, Rice, Sandifer, G.R. Smith, Sottile, Spires, Stringer, Umphlett, Viers, White, Whitmire, Wylie and A.D. Young.
Legislators who are concerned about the impact of the cost of government upon individuals and businesses in these tough times need to get behind this bill and get it passed into law.