Lt. Governor Calley talks regulatory reform

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley spoke at MGH with business leaders about a state regulatory reform initiative. It’s called Reinventing Performance In Michigan, or RPM.

“We started out with a few departments that have very high touch points with our customers, with our citizens, and saying, ‘how can we improve our processes, the amount of time that people spend dealing with state government?’,” Calley said.

The first phase of RPM improved license application times by 60% at the Bureau of Health Care Services and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, among other agencies.

Marquette General CEO  Gary Muller says MGH may be asking for assistance with the tax evaluation of the new hospital it plans to build. He says the RPM program is a sign that Snyder administration has been very receptive to its needs so far.

“They’ve been there; they’ve been very supportive,” Muller said. “Governor Snyder has been very supportive of what we’ve been doing. We’ve kept him informed, and I think the Lieutenant Governor can help reinforce the positive that we’ve got already.”

Forest products is a mature industry, so the Verso Paper mill in Quinnesec is looking to change to survive. New permits are sometimes needed in order to produce new products. Mill officials are asking the state to continue what it’s already doing to make new permits easier to obtain.

“We need to find alternative revenue streams,” Verso Paper Quinnesec communications director Mark Pontti said. “We need to find those products (and) services that meet the customers’ demands. Sometimes, we need a quick response from the state, and we’re appreciative of those efforts.”

The Lieutenant Governor says the RPM program is based on a very simple idea. Time that businesses spend on regulatory matters is time that they can’t spend earning money and employing people by serving patients, clients or customers.

“When they have a dealing or an interaction with state government, our goal is to make sure that it is the best possible experience that we can make, and at the same time protecting the public health and safety of the citizens, which we’re charged to do,” Calley said. “There is a way to balance those interests.”

The next step for RPM might be to have state government departments coordinate more closely with one another so that they don’t require different specifications from businesses for the same project.