Local group questions Sen. Portman's Regulatory Accountability A - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Local group questions Sen. Portman's Regulatory Accountability Act

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A group in Youngstown is sounding off against a bill sponsored by Senator Rob Portman.

Local activists and politicians stood outside the Mahoning County Courthouse Thursday morning, saying the bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act is dangerous. They say it would roll back safeguards that affect everything from our workplace to our food.

"People have died and got hurt in the workplace. That's why these safety standards are in place, to begin with. The last thing we want to see is these things go away or even become watered down," said former UAW 1714 president David Green.

The group is asking Senator Portman to hold a town hall in the Valley to hear those concerns.

"We believe it is really a license to pollute," said Karen Zehr with Valley Voice United for Change. "We want to call on Senator Portman to have a town hall in the Mahoning Valley to discuss his issue and how we feel it threatens our communities: food safety, environmental safety, and workplace safety."

"I'm a union guy and the one thing that I've learned about being in a union is it's not just about us, it's not just about me. We have to stand and fight for all working people. So I want folks to educate themselves on this RAA, learn about it, understand that this could impact virtually everybody," said Green.

Senator Portman responded to this morning's protest with the following quote, “By ensuring agencies use the best scientific and economic data available, giving the public a bigger voice in the process, and requiring agencies to choose the most cost-effective regulations, we will get smarter rules and better outcomes.  This will boost job creation and economic growth while continuing to protect public health and safety and the environment, and that will benefit all of us.”

Portman's office calls the bill "common sense, bipartisan legislation that simply codifies long-standing, bipartisan executive orders – most of these requirements are not new; they are things most agencies do anyway... The RAA would only apply the cost-benefit analysis requirements to major rules—those having a $100 million or greater effect on the economy each year – and thus judicial review of those requirements would only apply to those rules.  That universe is quite limited (estimates are around 30-40 rules per year)." 

To read the bill yourself, check out this link. You can also view this link to see some key differences between the Senate and House bills. 

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