We’ve all seen the GEICO commercial in which the talking pig keeps his auto insurance information on his smartphone, right?
That commercial must not be set in New York, because in the Empire State motorists still need to keep a paper copy of their insurance cards or face a possible fine, despite the advent of e-registrations that can be used in other states.
It’s one of 2,219 regulations on the books that should be revisited or wiped out entirely, according to a group of Senate Republicans and Independent Democratic Conference members who pointed to a hidebound bureaucratic culture in state agencies they say is hindering the business climate.
The lawmakers — Republican Sens. Pat Gallivan and Kathy Marchione, as well as IDCmembers David Carlucci and Dave Valesky — are calling for an overhaul of business regulations that echo Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s State of the State speech last week. Cuomo wants to set up a regulatory reform commission.
“It’s time to stop talking and start cutting,” said Marchione, of Saratoga.
Some of the regulations, such as a requirement that certain insurance forms be printed on buff-colored paper, may be anecdotal and from a different era.
But others, such as the lengthy environmental reviews the state requires of developers even for small projects, should be streamlined, the senators said.
In compiling their report, lawmakers during the summer traveled the state conducting hearings during which local business operators spoke of the regulations they said should be revisited. They expected to have a hard time identifying 1,000 needless regulations, but came up with 2,219, Marchione said.
Part of the problem, lawmakers said, was the culture of state agencies and their workers.
Business operators must adhere to strict reporting deadlines, for instance, but bureaucratic decisions can be delayed with no timetable and little consequences for the regulators.
“The culture of state government is problematic,” Gallivan said.
With Cuomo’s speech in mind, Gallivan suggested the senators have done much of the legwork or information-gathering for gubernatorial commission.
“Hopefully, we can get together with the governor and work with him,” he said. “We think the bulk of the work is done.”
By Rick Karlin