Section 3H. The governor shall appoint the director of the Massachusetts permit regulatory office within the executive office of economic development. The director shall have experience with permitting and business development. The director shall serve as the state permit ombudsman to new and expanding businesses, to provide one-stop licensing for businesses and development in order to streamline and expedite the process of obtaining state licenses, permits, state certificates, state approvals, and other requirements of law, but not including divisions of the state secretary’s office. The ombudsman shall facilitate communication between the municipality and state agencies. The Massachusetts permit regulatory office shall consult with each regional office of the Massachusetts office of business development and each regional office of the Massachusetts Development Financing Agency, in order to better serve local businesses.
There shall be a permitting specialist within each of the 5 regional offices of the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency. It shall be the responsibility of the specialist to work with new and existing businesses to assist in their selection, application, and finalizing of permits, local approvals, licensing and regulations. The specialists shall communicate with the regional planning agencies and the municipal officials responsible for local review procedures, to determine the municipal perspective on the proposed project.
The ombudsman shall file an annual report with the house and senate committees on ways and means by January 1 on the activities of the Massachusetts permit regulatory office and the interagency permitting board, including legislative recommendations on business development and expansion efforts.
The secretary shall appoint a regulatory ombudsman to address regulatory matters of interest to the business community. The regulatory ombudsman shall work in partnership with the state permitting ombudsman to provide assistance to businesses in the process of complying with state regulations and other requirements of law that affect businesses. The regulatory ombudsman shall facilitate communication between individual businesses and state agencies and provide periodic training to regulatory personnel in state agencies on how to identify the small business impacts of regulation, how to reduce those impacts and how to expedite and streamline the process or compliance. The regulatory ombudsman shall establish an advisory group representing business interests to advise and inform on the impact of regulations on various business and industry sectors and on the cost of doing business in the commonwealth.