Gov. Rick Snyder has issued his first veto, rejecting a bill that would have placed limits on the ability of state employees to write rules more stringent than federal requirements without the approval of the Legislature.

His rejection of the legislation puts him at odds with legislators of his own party who have been working diligently to lessen the burdensome red tape regularly churned out by state regulators. In vetoing House Bill 4326, the governor has sided with bureaucrats over businesses and solidified Michigan’s anti-business reputation with companies that have operations in states where similar legislation is already state law.

Gov. Snyder’s concern about protecting executive authority as a rationale for rejecting HB 4326 seems misplaced. Placing limits on unelected bureaucrats who act without legislative approval should not be viewed as a threat to the governor’s authority, but instead embraced as transparent government that vests decision-making with elected officials who are accountable to voters. Voters deserve leadership that rises above disputes about which branch of government should have the most power.

By vetoing common sense legislation, the governor has taken a giant step backward in Michigan’s attempt to reinvent itself as being more business-friendly. Actions by elected officials always speak louder than words. The governor’s action by vetoing a bill that would have cut red tape sends a clear message that Michigan is not willing to take the actions necessary to be competitive.