by Rick Karlin, Albany Times Union, January 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm
Surrounded by posters urging a cutting of Red Tape and a pile of regulation books on a nearby table, a group of Senate Republicans and IDC members earlier Monday rolled out a plan to cut the regulatory burdens they say impede the state’s business community.
“It’s time to stop talking and start cutting,” said Kathy Marchione, a Republican from the Saratoga area. She and fellow Republican Pat Gallivan from western New York and Independent Democratic Conference members David Valesky of central New York and Orange/Rockland county’s Dave Carlucci spent the summer traveling the state conducting hearings during which local business operators spoke of the state’s forests-worth of seemingly outdated or meaningless regulations.
They thought they would have difficulty identifying 1,000 needless regs but came up with 2,219, said Marchione.
Among them: an insurance rule requiring some reports to be done on “buff” rather than off-white paper, stringent restrictions about the hours that teens can work their part-time jobs and a requirement that motorists keep their insurance cards on paper, despite apps that allow the data to be kept on smart phones (so much for the GEICO talking pig who keeps his insurance information on a smart phone — it won’t work in New York State).
There also are the requirements that forms be filled out in duplicate, for no apparent reason, and an environmental review process that can drag on for years.
Part of the problem, lawmakers said, was the culture of state agencies and those who work there. Business owners, for instance, must adhere to strict reporting deadlines. But where bureaucratic decisions can get stalled in endless delays with no consequences, except for the business operator who is waiting for a permit or to get an answer on whether he or she can launch a new initiative.
“The culture of state government is problematic,” said Gallivan.
The Senate report comes less than a week after Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for a regulatory reform commission.
With that in mind, Gallivan suggested much of the leg work or information gathering has already been done by them. “Hopefully we can get together with the governor and work with him,” he said. “We think the bulk of the work is done.”