The New York State Senate today passed two bills designed to help improve New York’s business climate by removing some of the regulatory hurdles that hurt businesses and slow the state’s economy. The measures are among several legislative initiatives being spearheaded with the Senate Majority Conference’s Opportunity Agenda – a multipronged plan to save small businesses more than $1.1 billion in taxes, cut red tape, reduce regulatory burdens, invest in workforce development, and strengthen New York’s existing economic development programs.
One bill (S3751A), sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy (R-C-I, Yorktown), would make improvements to the process for evaluating the potential impact of proposed rules on jobs and employment opportunities. The current process, while useful, does not provide sufficient information on the quality of jobs that could be gained or lost by pursuing various policy choices, and does not guarantee that the most appropriate data and methodologies are used.
Senator Murphy said, “It is no secret that New York’s economy continues to sputter. We continue to rank among the worst in the nation when it comes to our business tax climate. New Yorkers need real reforms that will nurture, not suppress, job growth in our state and we can start by making Albany bureaucrats understand the impact their red tape will have on local jobs.”
The second bill (S244), sponsored by Senator Rob Ortt (R-C-I, North Tonawanda) addresses concerns about giving insufficient time to businesses or other regulated entities required to comply with a new state rule. The lack of an additional public hearing or implementation period prior to the initiation of new rule changes can lead to significant hardships in efficiently and effectively operating, providing services, or conducting business. There are also concerns that without an implementation period prior to the effective date of a new regulation, public comments made later in the comment period are less likely to be taken into account due to time constraints. This bill adds a 90-day implementation period to alleviate this situation and increase the efficient and effective implementation of new rules.
Senator Ortt said, “New York State was once a shining example of economic prosperity and the fostering of a positive business climate. Unfortunately, our state became known more for driving away its successful corporations than growing them, and unfortunately, our rank of 49th in business friendliness illustrates the climate that currently exists. This legislative package will help eliminate burdensome ‘red tape’ and more policies like these will be an integral in restoring entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in our state. This was a good first step and we must continue to focus on the significant reforms to address and change New York’s business climate.”
In addition to these measures, the Senate will be taking up other legislation and preparing a budget proposal in the coming weeks to help achieve the goals of the Opportunity Agenda. In recent years, the Senate has passed numerous bills – including several that have become law - to help reform the decision-making processes and practices that are putting New York’s businesses at a competitive disadvantage. The Senate has taken the lead in cutting bureaucratic red tape, including holding a series of hearings in 2013 to identify the rules, regulations, and mandates that are the most cumbersome and costly. From 2006 to 2015, approximately 2,750 new rules were proposed by state agencies – an average of 275 each year – and these add to the more than 140,000 pages of state regulations currently in place.
The bills have been sent to the Assembly.