Striking the Right Balance of Government Input

Amy Drumm

As your voice in Lansing, our job is to raise questions and concerns about government intervention and regulation for retailers, grocers, and other small businesses. 

Our goal is a thoughtful and balanced approach to government involvement, emphasizing that good policy should be well-considered, efficient, and effective, while cautioning against overregulation and the potential consequences of hasty decision-making.

Who should be able to tell you, as a business owner, what to do? Who should be held responsible when it goes wrong? What’s the government’s role in any of this?

Those are frequent questions when it comes to legislation and potential mandates. 

I’ll caution that good policy takes time – and we want it to be done thoughtfully and thoroughly. So who should get to decide what you have to do? Which level should it be done at? The goal should be to tackle tough policy questions in a way that causes minimal disruption, applies efficiently and effectively, and solves the problem at hand while considering all the potential impacts. We want thoughtful policy that actually works, not short-sighted policy made from talking points. That means the higher the platform, the more attention and scrutiny it faces, the more likely it will actually result in good, workable policy.

 Consider this: last year in Michigan, a whopping 278 bills became law. This year, there are already 120 new laws on the books, with a staggering 1,392 pending bills awaiting consideration. Moreover, there are 214 active, pending administrative rules from various state agencies, dating all the way back to 2019. Can you name even a fraction of these proposed laws and rules? Do we truly need so many more? The pending bills run the gamut from designating the monarch as the state’s official butterfly to establishing an entirely new state-run paid family leave program.

In this whirlwind of legislative activity, it’s essential to ask: are all these laws and rules truly necessary, or do they risk becoming mere clutter in our legal system? Finding the right balance between government involvement and individual freedom is a challenge that demands thoughtful consideration, ensuring that the policies we adopt are well-founded, efficient, and most importantly, effective in addressing the real issues at hand.

In the end, it’s a question of striking a balance – protecting the interests of businesses and citizens while ensuring that government intervention doesn’t become excessive or counterproductive. We should all strive for a system where the policies put in place genuinely benefit the community and its businesses, without unnecessary red tape or hastily made decisions.