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State senator Kim Ward fears 'tidal wave' of U.S. regulations

| Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

State Sen. Kim Ward said on Friday that she hopes people will pressure the government to “lay off of our small businesses.”

Ward spoke during a business roundtable held as part of the National Federation of Independent Business' “Sensible Regulations” campaign at Becker Wholesale Mine Supply in North Huntingdon.

Kevin Shivers, the federation's state director, said the group advocates for 300,000 small and independent businesses nationwide, including 15,000 in Pennsylvania. He and Ward met with local government representatives and small business leaders on Friday.

The federation is working to stop a “tidal wave” of regulations proposed by President Obama's administration that could impact Pennsylvanians and jobs, Shivers said.

Vic Hensler, human resources director at Becker, said his brother Bill started the business in the basement of his house and has since been able to create jobs and to operate in the United States and Canada. The business provides underground communications systems for mines and tunnels.

“This business is the American dream,” said Ward, whom Shivers called an ally of the federation.

During the past six months, Vic Hensler said, he has worked on compliance with the Affordable Care Act. The training is costly, he said, and it's difficult.

He presented a wish list for proper reform, including cost-benefit analyses, peer review, judicial review and measurement and assessment of risks.

Hensler said he wants the government to value and promote compliance over enforcement.

He said he's been successful in business because he listened to people.

“That's what we need our government to do — listen to people,” he said. “I have no problem with regulations, but they need to be user-friendly. Let us create jobs.”

He said he hopes Obama's State of the Union address will discuss the need for “win-win situations.”

Shivers highlighted state legislation dealing with regulations, including the need for scientific research and the need for bureaucrats to reach out to small business owners.

Irwin council members Gail Macioce and Debbie Kelly attended, as did a representative from state Rep. George Dunbar's office.

Attendees toured Becker Wholesale Mine Supply's site along Main Street to learn about the business.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646.

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