January 12, 2024 Less than a minute read

Regulatory Sandbox Act would provide business innovation boost

Removing barriers of entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses through the Regulatory Sandbox Act is once again under consideration by the Missouri General Assembly.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, citing opportunities identified in its recently released Technology2030 report, strongly supports the effort.

“We think Missouri has a really key opportunity to grow tech and innovation jobs and this is a piece of the puzzle,” said Kara Corches, Chamber vice president of governmental affairs. “We want to create an economic climate that is welcoming to innovators.”

The House Economic Development Committee considered HB 1960 this week. Representative Alex Riley (R-Springfield) is presenting the legislation for the third consecutive year. He said the language in 2024 is identical to what came out of the Senate last year. Final passage in 2023 was derailed in the closing days of the legislative session.

The legislation would create a Regulatory Relief Office that would consider company applications to waive certain state regulations (for up to two years) that hinder the development of that company’s product or service. This would only occur after review by the appropriate state agency or agencies.

Riley said the Regulatory Sandbox is intended for “innovators and entrepreneurs bringing new ideas to market without having to jump through all the regulatory burdens and red tape. It shows innovators and entrepreneurs that we want you here.”

Utah, Arizona and most recently Kentucky have passed similar programs that apply to all industries. Many other states have implemented industry-specific initiatives.

“Clearly it’s working, or states would not be expanding their programs,” Riley added. “We modeled this legislation somewhat off Utah but tailored to Missouri’s needs.”

Corches pointed out that Utah and Arizona are generally top 10 states when it comes to tech industry job growth and the goal is for Missouri to achieve similar status. For more information, contact Corches at kcorches@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.


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