ALBANY >> On the first day of the 2014 legislative session, the state Senate stuck to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Open for Business” theme Monday, issuing a report calling for scrapping more than 2,200 rules and regulations that put New York at a competitive disadvantage.
Legislators said the regulations range from the scaffold law that puts total liability on employers in fall accidents, to dictating the color of off-white paper used in insurance company transactions and requirements that car dealers keep written records on hand describing the inventory of vehicles so the paperwork can be inspected on demand by a state official.
“The 2,219 specific rules and regulations we have listed for revision or elimination will make a real difference for a more affordable Empire State … It’s time to stop talking and start cutting Albany’s 22 miles of job-killing red tape,” Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-Halfmoon), one of five members of the Senate majority coalition who held hearings last fall on the state’s regulatory climate.
As the report was handed out, the Senate displayed a table full of books of the regulations now in force.
“New York state has been labeled as ‘anti-business’ for more than a generation, and two items are consistently identified as chiefly responsible – taxes and regulations,” Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Erie County said). “A lot of air and ink have been spent outlining the state’s high-tax problem, but not nearly enough energy has been spent trying to combat New York’s job-killing regulatory structure. Over the course of our nine industry-specific hearings, my colleagues and I heard time and again from employers and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes about the myriad ways New York state is holding them back.”
The panel said the hearings uncovered a number of common problems for different businesses and industries. They said it was difficult to estimate the cost imposed by the 750,000 state government regulations on the books, but it appears to be at least $274 billion, based on comparisons to costs in California, another tightly regulated state.
“This report returns the spotlight to the state’s vast body of regulations, and highlights ways in which the state imposes excess or unnecessary compliance costs on business and other regulated entities … It sets forth a broad agenda for regulatory and procedural reforms,” NYS Business Council President Heather Briccetti said in a statement on the report.
The proposed solutions include:
•Agencies should provide guidance in navigating complex regulations, which can be more burdensome than complying with the regulation itself
•Agencies should work cooperatively with businesses towards compliance rather than immediately penalizing
•Agencies should be held accountable to timely respond to permit, license, and grant applications as well as inquiries from covered businesses
•Agencies should develop fair and predictable regulations
•Commissioners should be held accountable to conduct an agency-by-agency review of regulations as required by law
•Agencies should communicate to avoid conflicting regulatory interpretations
•The Legislature should strengthen the State Administrative Procedure Act
By Kyle Hughes, NYSNYS News