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Skelos, Klein on regulatory relief

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Whenever Senate co-leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, has recently emerged from private, end-of-session negotiating meetings with the governor and other legislative leaders, he has said the Senate wants more than just Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax-free business location plan for campuses. He has often talked of regulatory relief, without offering specifics.

Here are the specifics of what he has in mind and what can now, given the timing, be called among the priorities for Senate Republicans and the four breakaway Democrats who run the Senate in a coalition with the GOP.

Here is part of an edited press release about the new measures. For your new-versus-old-idea curiosity, we've put asterisks in front of the bills that are new ideas as opposed to ones proposed in previous years. The Senate plans to pass the measures next week and to also hold hearings around the state to address regulatory problems facing businesses.

 

Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos and Independent
Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein today announced that the Senate
Majority Coalition will begin an unprecedented initiative to identify and
eliminate thousands of costly and unnecessary government regulations that
strangle business and job growth and drive up municipal and school property
taxes.

“The state’s byzantine rule-making process can tie up businesses in
expensive red tape that discourages job creation almost as much as high
taxes,” Senator Skelos said. “The impact on local property taxes is just as
bad. The Senate Majority Coalition wants to get rid of needless rules,
make the regulatory process more accountable, and lessen the burden on
taxpayers.”


“Over the past three years, state agencies have proposed almost 800
new rules and regulations, with nearly 95 percent of them ultimately
becoming law,” Senator Klein said. “On average, small businesses in New
York get buried under more than a hundred new rules and regulations each
year. If we really want to make New York more business friendly, that needs
to change.”


In addition to high taxes, the burden of regulations and red tape
hurts New York’s business climate. This Senate Majority Coalition
regulatory reform initiative will make New York more economically
competitive and help businesses create new jobs by eliminating needless and
costly regulations that limit economic growth.

The following bills are among those that have been introduced and
will be acted on by the Senate next week:

** (S5519) Establishes an 11-member joint
task force to perform a review and make recommendations relating to the
necessity for each rule, regulation and public authority.

** (S5161) Gives the Administrative Regulations Review
Commission (ARRC) more oversight authority in the rulemaking process and
would give ARRC the authority to bring suit against an agency for a
regulation that is in violation of state law.

** (S1294) Prohibits state mandates on local governments and
school districts unless they are fully funded by the state.

** (S5166) Directs the Governor to repeal at least 1,000
regulations that are burdensome on economic development and business. This
measure was included in the Senate Republican’s “Blueprint for Jobs”
economic development plan earlier this year.

(S3462) Proposes a constitutional
amendment to allow the legislature to invalidate regulations that are not
consistent with legislative intent or which are likely to have a
substantial unanticipated fiscal impact on the state or local governments.

** (S5657) Creates a
19-member joint task force to undertake a thorough review of the 142-page,
State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) and regulatory review process now
that the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform has been disbanded for over
two years. This law, which sets out the process used by state agencies to
establish rules and regulations, was enacted in 1975 and since then there
has been no comprehensive review of the law.

(S1564) Requires the
Regents to include certain information with respect to increased costs when
altering or amending rules or regulations.

** (S4302A) Streamlines the license
application and renewal process for supermarket chains and other food chain
stores.

** (S5536) Provides new incentives to
facilitate the extension of existing natural gas lines to under-served
businesses and consumers to spur economic development and job creation.

(S5553) Require state agencies to provide
expanded information on the costs and benefits associated with an agency
proposal.

(S1784) Amends SAPA to authorize a group of businesses
that are regulated by a state agency or a representative of such businesses
to petition a state agency for alternate methods of implementing a
regulatory mandate that restricts the conducting or management of a
business.

(S3246) Facilitates electronic submission of documents by
allowing state agencies to substitute affirmations for sworn oaths in
permit applications.

(S3245) Eliminates the requirement to provide free hard
copies of the State Register to entities that opt to receive a free online
version instead.

(S2160) Requires state agencies to actively solicit
comments from those who may be adversely affected by a rule proposed by
SAPA and seek opinions on the administrative and/or financial burdens it
may place on a regulated entity.

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