The “Year of Regulatory Reform” has all but fizzled in the California State Legislature. Mirroring calls by the President and Congress to reform the regulatory process and thicket of rules governing every aspect of business, a large number of bills were introduced in California to make our own regulatory environment less cumbersome. California’s burdensome regulatory system is widely seen by businesses as a prime hurdle to getting the economy going again, and more than 50 pieces of legislation were introduced to curtail that regulatory scheme and make government run more efficiently.
However, many environmental groups tend to like the complicated nature of California’s regulations. It slows growth and keeps a heavy hand on business activity. So they opposed most measures. As a result, only 13 remain “alive” for 2011, and Capitol insiders think many of those will not make it through the Appropriations committee process.
One of the bills still moving through the Legislature is the homebuilder-sponsored measure SB 643 (Correa), a bill which would require state agencies to cite the “estimated cost of compliance” of their proposed building standards in their regulatory notices released to the public. Even though agencies have been required to develop cost impact data for decades, such information is often difficult and time-consuming for interested parties to obtain. We are helping move this bill forward, as it makes sense and can be used as a model for reform with other agencies.
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