Are state rules and regulations putting businesses at a disadvantage?

Updated: 01/14/2014 11:43 PM
Created: 01/14/2014 11:30 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

New Yorkers are telling lawmakers there are too many rules and regulations, and it is putting the state at a disadvantage for business.

Do you know how many rules, regulations and requirements New York State has on it’s books? 750,000. 

A random group of business owners and residents told lawmakers at least 2,200 of those regulations are putting businesses at a disadvantage. 

A task force from the state senate put out a report asking for those regulations to be reviewed or reformed. Some of them you may have experienced yourself.

Here’s an example of one of those 2,200 rules and regulations:

Confidential letters from employers are being sent to employees asking to verify their wage, overtime rate and other employment information. What’s the problem? Lynette Adams asked that question to State Senator Patrick Gallivan.

"This requires additional work on the part of the employer, its unnecessary work. It’s duplicative and it's estimated it costs employers $187 million dollars a year in New York State," said Gallivan.

We spoke with Senator Gallivan Tuesday by phone after his office released the findings of a task force on state regulatory reform. Gallivan says many of the state regulations are outdated and in some cases he says downright foolish.

"Insurance companies in certain circumstances are required to provide certain reports on buff colored paper, not white paper, but buff paper. What on earth would be the reason for that would be for something like that? It costs more money, taxpayers pay somebody to monitor that or enforce that and in the long run somebody is paying more in the way of insurance rates for these services."

Gallivan says New York has been labeled as anti-business largely because of regulations and high taxes. He says this is evidence reform is long overdue. We wanted to know what Rochester residents think.

Jayme Gavrity says it's definitely time to look at the books.

Adams: does it amaze you that we could actually have 750,000 things we have to regulate in this state? 

Gavrity: yes, it's just crazy.

Rochester musician Jimmie Highsmith agrees and says technology can play a role.

"I think streamlining the process a little better looking at what's out there, what might not be needed any longer, with technology it would be a good move to get rid of it," said Highsmith."

In his state of the state address, Governor Cuomo also mentioned regulatory reform as one of his priorities this year. Gallivan was only looking to find about a thousand outdated regulations. He hopes both sides can work together on reform. He’s also working to get his fellow lawmakers, state agencies, and citizens on board.

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