Pennsylvania has a major problem: it’s dangerously overregulated. According to a September 2023 Commonwealth Foundation study, “Cutting Red Tape in Pennsylvania,” the Keystone State enforces a whopping 166,219 restrictions—nearly 30,000 more than the average U.S. state. Excess regulations increase costs, harm businesses, and kill jobs. But just how overregulated is Pennsylvania? Well, when it comes to government red tape, here are some of the biggest red flags.
Eight Red Flags
1. Pennsylvania’s Poor Regulatory Ranking.
Pennsylvania is the 12th most regulated state in the country, with regulations 22 percent more stringent than the national average.
2. Environmental Overprotection.
Environmental regulations account for one in every five regulatory restrictions, with a staggering 33,750 regulations in total.
3. Reading Pennsylvania’s Code: A Marathon and a Half.
It would take 740 hours—or 18.5 weeks—to read the entire Pennsylvania Code.
4. Paperwork for Paper Manufacturers.
Paper manufacturers in Pennsylvania must navigate 4,297 regulations, creating significant hurdles to business.
5. Permit Pile-Up.
Gov. Josh Shapiro’s January 2023 executive order identified 2,400 different permits, licenses, and certifications implemented under Pennsylvania law.
6. Philadelphia’s Pervasive Parking Rules.
The Philadelphia Parking Authority has imposed 1,254 separate regulatory restrictions on how, when, and where you get to park your car.
7. Crying Over Spilled Milk?
The milk marketing board imposes a complex web of 485 regulations on the selling of milk, making it harder for the dairy business to thrive.
8. Professional Boards: A Crowd of Regulators.
Pennsylvania has 29 separate professional boards and commissions, regulating over one million workers.