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Small businesses revving for regulatory cuts

Ellen Valentino agrees with Gov. Martin O’Malley: Maryland business needs fewer regulations.

In a statement addressing the governor’s State of the State address Wednesday, Valentino, the state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said the average small business spends $10,500 per year, per employee, in order to comply with federal regulations.

“We can only imagine that the state costs mirror federal compliance, and the irony of it is that federal and state regulations are duplicative, or even conflicting,” she said.

O’Malley, who in October issued an executive order for agencies to assess ways to streamline the state’s regulatory processes, reiterated the call in his speech Wednesday.

“This session, we are submitting 750 pages of regulations for you to reform, reduce and remove from the books,” he said.

That equals “more than 150 current state regulations to be repealed and/or streamlined,” according to the governor’s website.

“If the governor’s initiative can reduce the burden in terms of money [spent] and time wasted, we’ll see positive results in the economy,” Valentino said.

Less appealing are the governor’s proposed tax hikes.

“Small businesses and consumers are struggling in this economy, and the governor’s heavy emphasis on higher taxes is disappointing,” she said.