January 26, 2023 Less than a minute read

Regulatory Sandbox Act seeks to spur innovation in Missouri

Missouri lawmakers are considering a plan to help nurture new business ideas through regulatory relief.

On January, 25, 2023, the House Economic Development Committee heard testimony on HB 268, sponsored by Rep. Alex Riley (R-Springfield), which would create the Regulatory Sandbox Act. Similar legislation is being considered in the Senate under SB 3, sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg).

“The purpose behind the Regulatory Sandbox Act is to provide an alternative mechanism for innovators and entrepreneurs, those who have ideas and want to bring new services, new products, new technologies to the market, but may be unable to do so because of regulatory burdens that are in place,” Riley said.

At the hearing, Riley acknowledged Missouri’s high regulatory burden, saying there are more than 113,000 regulations that the state imposes on its citizens and businesses, in addition to federal and municipal regulations.

“What we don’t want is to have our regulatory system crush good ideas, good products, good services before they even have a chance to get off the ground,” Riley said. “We want to spur innovation in this state, and we have a lot of opportunity to do that.”

The legislation would create the Regulatory Relief Office within the Department of Economic Development. Businesses that apply for the program could receive a waiver from certain state laws or regulations during a two-year period.

Missouri’s regulatory sandbox would apply to all industries. Currently, Utah and Arizona have similar programs, and several other states have adopted industry-specific regulatory sandboxes.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports the bills as a way to remove barriers of entry for businesses, especially for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Phillip Arnzen, the Missouri Chamber’s director of legislative affairs, testified at the hearing.

“Missouri is actually becoming an emerging tech and innovation hub. We’re top 10 in numerous categories in tech, including women in tech, energy tech, as well as manufacturing tech,” Arnzen said. “We think this helps promote that, and it will also help spur innovation and entrepreneurs in other industries as well.”

For more information, contact Phillip Arnzen at parnzen@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.


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