BATAVIA – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, said he believes excessive government regulations need to be lifted in order to grow the economy.
"We need common-sense regulation," Hultgren said during Thursday's legislative affairs luncheon at Lincoln Inn Banquets, sponsored by the Batavia Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "There is a lot of regulation that is crushing, especially for small businesses."
Hultgren has introduced the "Regulatory Sunset and Review Act" that would establish a process to review and, if needed, terminate regulations that have been in existence for years.
"My bill recognizes there are regulations on the books that made sense 20 to 30 years ago but don't now," Hultgren said.
This week is National Small Business Week. Hultgren on Thursday was presented with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award for his efforts in workforce development.
"This is one of those recognitions that mean the most to me," Hultgren said in accepting the award. "I'm passionate about small businesses and entrepreneurship."
Hultgren also answered questions from the audience. Chris Beykirch, business development director for Aurora-based Alarm Detection Systems, asked Hultgren about how much political bickering goes on in Washington, D.C.
"I think it is overblown," Hultgren said. "It is part of a 24-hour news cycle. There are things that Republicans and Democrats disagree on, but there are many things we work together on."
Hultgren was also asked if he supported raising the minimum wage. He answered that the bigger issue is reducing the unemployment rate.
"I want people to have a good living wage, but more importantly, we still don't have enough jobs," Hultgren said. "If the minimum wage is too high, some of those jobs go away. How do we get this economy so it is truly growing?"
Hultgren also said he doesn't think comprehensive immigration reform will happen this year.
"There is activity," he said. "There is recognition that what we've got isn't working well anymore."