The House Commerce Committee today, as expected, unanimously passed a bill that would overhaul securities laws, ease the regulatory burden on mutual fund companies, make it easier for hedge funds and other private investment pools to attract institutional investors and ease state paperwork requirements for small companies to sell stock. The bill will ``help all businesses, but particularly small businesses to raise money to create more jobs,'' Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas J. Bliley Jr., R-Va., said.
The legislation, originally introduced last year by Rep. Jack Fields, R-Texas, would end the duplication between federal and state regulators by subjecting mutual funds only to federal regulation. The bill also would lift the current cap of 100 investors for hedge funds, venture capital funds and other private investment pools that have only institutional investors. The bill also would end state scrutiny of securities offerings by small companies with more than $10 million in assets.