ICYMI: Senate IDC, GOP pushing regulatory overhaul

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The Republicans and breakaway Democrats that controls the state Senate is out with 14 bills meant to scale back New York’s regulations, including a bill that would require the elimination of at least 1,000 regulations, the coalition announced Thursday.

Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference said the Legislature’s upper house will vote on the bills next week. Among them: a measure to prevent state-mandated costs on local governments and school districts unless they are fully funded by the state.

“On average, small businesses in New York get buried under more than a hundred new rules and regulations each year,” Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, said in a statement. “If we really want to make New York more business friendly, that needs to change.”

The bill to eliminate regulations, sponsored by Capital Region Sen. Kathy Marchione, a Republican, doesn’t include specific rules eyed for ouster. Instead, it would require each agency in the state to cull together a list of rules and regulations before requiring Gov. Andrew Cuomo to eliminate at least 1,000 of them before the end of the year.

An Albany-based environmental group doesn’t think that’s a wise idea, calling it an “offensive” plan.

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

Here are the 14 bills, courtesy of the Senate Majority Coalition:

  • (S5519, Senator Joseph Griffo R-C-I, Rome) 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, Senator Marchione) 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, Senator Griffo) Prohibits state mandates on local governments and school districts unless they are fully funded by the state.
  • (S5166, Senator Marchione) 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, Senator James Seward, R-C-I, Oneonta) 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, Sponsored by Senators Gallivan, Marchione and Carlucci) 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, Senator Kenneth LaValle, R-C-I, Port Jefferson) Requires the Regents to include certain information with respect to increased costs when altering or amending rules or regulations.
  • (S4302A, Senator Patty Ritchie, R-C, Heuvelton) Streamlines the license application and renewal process for supermarket chains and other food chain stores.
  • (S5536, Senator George Maziarz, R-C, Newfane) 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, Senator David Valesky, D, Oneida) Require state agencies to provide expanded information on the costs and benefits associated with an agency proposal.
  • (S1784, Senator Carlucci) 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, Senator Carlucci) Facilitates electronic submission of documents by allowing state agencies to substitute affirmations for sworn oaths in permit applications.
  • (S3245, Senator Carlucci) Eliminates the requirement to provide free hard copies of the State Register to entities that opt to receive a free online version instead.
  • (S2160, Senator Valesky) 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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