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Senate Majority Coalition aims scissors at red tape

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Friday, June 7, 2013

By Shannon M. Luibrand

The Senate Majority Coalition wants to cut the state’s red tape, but some warn it might have negative consequences.
Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, and Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klien, D-Bronx, who share power over the coalition, announced Thursday they will begin a major initiative to eliminate state regulations that cost N.Y. both money and jobs.

“Over the past three years, state agencies have proposed almost 800 new rules and regulations, with nearly 95 percent of them ultimately becoming law,” Klein said in a statement. “On average, small businesses in New York get buried under more than a hundred new rules and regulations each year.”

According to a release from the Senate Majority Coalition, the reform initiative will make New York more economically competitive and help businesses create new jobs by eliminating needless and costly regulations. Fourteen bills will be acted on next week. Included in the proposal is a package of legislation that would:

-eliminate 1,000 burdensome regulations on businesses
-give the Senate’s Administrative Regulations and Review Commission more oversight authority in the process
-stop unfunded state mandates on local governments and school districts

The Senate Majority Coalition will also conduct industry-specific public hearings across the state to listen to businesses and local officials on why these regulations and mandates are hurting them.

Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, who is co-chair of the Administrative Regulations Review Commission, said there is no arguing New York is over regulated. She will be involved in conducting hearings on this issue.

“New York is tangled up in approximately 12 miles of state rules, regulations and red tape – almost enough to stretch from Albany to Halfmoon – that stifles innovation, hurts our economic competitiveness,” she said in a statement. “I am proud to be part of this unprecedented effort to rein in State Agency rule-making, get bad regulations off the books, and start cutting bureaucratic red tape that’s strangling our private sector job creators, local governments and taxpayers.”

But the Environmental Advocates of New York think the regulatory reform plans do more harm than good.

“Need I remind the Senators that many of the regulations to be under review are not the result of a mischievous regulatory elf lurking the halls of the state government,” David Gahl, executive director of the Environmental Advocates of New York said in a statement. “But most often the direct work of their legislative activity.”

The Environmental Advocates of New York further argues the regulatory plan endangers public safety. They claim the package would roll back protections without regard to agencies that serve public health and the environment.

“Senate leadership needs to get serious about their work,” Gahl said. “Sulking towards the end of session and grasping for politically motivated headlines that do nothing to solve our state’s real problems is why the public has lost faith in their chambers”

Follow @shannl18 on Twitter.

 
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