In one of his first acts after being inaugurated in January, Governor Chris Sununu asked department heads to compile a list of state regulations that could be stricken from the books.
That review has now resulted in more than 1,600 regulations that Sununu said need to go.
Sununu traveled to a hair salon in the town of Winchester to make a point about what he considers unnecessary regulation. Seated in a barber’s chair with a stack of papers in front of him Sununu grabbed a red marker, drew a huge “X” and fed the sheets…into a nearby shredder.
The location was significant. The hair salon “Cuts On Main” battled with state regulators earlier this year over a painting outside its shop that looks like a barber’s pole. According to New Hampshire law, if you’re not a barber shop – you can’t "advertise" as one.
Sununu says regulations like these only get in the way of businesses.
“We have to become a state of 'yes first.' Don’t put the burden and the onerous task on the individuals and on the small businesses," Sununu said.
"Be a state with a culture that says, 'we wanna say yes, is there any reason why we shouldn’t'?"
The Executive Order Sununu signed Thursday allows hundreds of regulations from across state government to expire with no further action. Others that need to be actively eliminated though will first have to be approved by a legislative committee.
The order also creates a committee charged with working to remove even more regulations from the books. But Democratic Senator Dan Feltes of Concord says the state already has such a committee tasked with reviewing rules. Feltes, who sits on that very committee, called this order "nothing more than an elongation of an unsuccessful political stunt."