Posts Tagged ‘regulations’

Nevada Small Business Owners Advocate For Fewer, More Sensible Federal Regulations

By Sean Whaley | 4:43 pm July 26th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A pair of Nevada small business owners today said the federal government needs to ease off on its excessive regulatory efforts under the Obama administration if it wants to encourage job growth here and around the country.

Buddy Byrd, owner of Byrd Underground, a construction firm in Las Vegas, and Tim Wulf, owner of two Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in the Reno area, talked about their frustrations with what they say is regulatory overload.

The business owners were enlisted as part of a national effort by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) to “Stop President Obama’s Regulatory Tidal Wave,” a new campaign aimed at stemming the flow of new rules from federal agencies ranging from the EPA to OSHA.

Buddy Byrd.

The NFIB says the next four years could bring hundreds of costly regulations for U.S. businesses and consumers, with nearly 4,100 federal regulations in the pipeline that are estimated to cost the national economy more than half a trillion dollars.

“We’re stepping up the attention to stop this tidal wave and we’ve actually created a new website, called stopthetidalwave.org, to highlight the high number of regulations that could wash over small business in the next four years,” said Nevada NFIB State Director Randi Thompson.  “Because small business creates two-thirds of new jobs, we must remove major barriers to small business job creation, and reducing the regulatory burden is a major step. So in order to help Nevada small business and overall economic recovery, we need sensible, clear and fair regulations.”

Nevada leads the nation in the unemployment rate, and Thompson said a January Gallup poll found that 85 percent of small business owners were not hiring, with 46 percent citing government regulations as a reason for their decision.

Not everyone agrees that federal regulations are stifling job creation.

U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in November 2011 that there is no evidence to support the claim.

“My Republican friends have yet to produce a single shred of evidence that the regulations they hate so much do the broad economic harms they claim,” he said. “That’s because there aren’t any. Conversely there’s plenty of evidence to prove those regulations save lives, prevent asthma attacks, and ensure mom and pops face a fair fight against these multinational corporations and monied interest groups.”

But Byrd said he owns heavy equipment that won’t be permitted to be used on government jobs beginning in 2014 if a proposed EPA rule restricting emissions takes effect. The new rule is forcing him to sell his current equipment to foreign countries and purchase new equipment that will meet the new standards. The old equipment will continue to operate and expel emissions, just not in the U.S., he said.

“It’s costing us a considerable amount of money; I can’t replace that equipment for what I sold it for and so therefore we’re suffering great loss here just to accommodate what they want to do,” Byrd said. “And they don’t have any consideration for the small business.

“We just can’t continue to go down this path and employ people and give them jobs when there is no profit after they regulate us and regulate us and regulate us,” he said.

Wulf expressed concern about OSHA regulations that are taking safety concerns to an extreme and unworkable level, such as instructions on how to avoid being hit in the head by a mop handle.

“Here is an employee of the government, taking my time to teach me some ridiculous thing that I’m supposed to then take time with every one of my employees; like I say, in and of itself it is just laughable. But it is the aggregate effect of all these regulations that just makes you go crazy.”

Some members of Congress are concerned about regulatory overload as well. The House today passed H.R. 4078, the “Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act” which would impose a moratorium on the adoption of regulations between election day and the inauguration of the president. It would also place a freeze on new major regulations until the national unemployment rate falls to 6 percent or below.

The measure passed 245 to 172 on a mostly party-line vote with Republicans primarily in support. Nevada Reps. Mark Amodei and Joe Heck, both R-Nev., supported the measure. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., voted no.

Audio clips:

NFIB State Director Randi Thompson says multiple new regulations could take effect in the next four years:

072612Thompson1 :12 next four years.”

Thompson says the regulations are a barrier to hiring:

072612Thompson2 :17 and fair regulations.”

Construction company owner Buddy Byrd says regulations are keeping him from hiring:

072612Byrd1 :19 want to do.”

Byrd says there is too much regulation:

072612Byrd2 :15 and regulate us.”

Tim Wulf, owner of two Jimmy John’s sandwich shops, says it is the aggregate of the regulations that is overwhelming:

072612Wulf :18 you go crazy.”

 

Gov. Sandoval Says Elimination Of Unnecessary Regulations Will Aid In Economic Development Efforts

By Sean Whaley | 5:20 pm February 7th, 2012

RENO – Gov. Brian Sandoval said today his plan to repeal 654 unnecessary regulations will assist in the state’s efforts at economic diversification and job creation by making Nevada more business friendly.

In addition to the repeal of more than 600 rules, another 1,100 will be updated as a result of an executive order he issued in January 2011 imposing a one-year freeze and calling for his cabinet to thoroughly review the entire regulatory framework of the state. The review was finalized last week.

Most regulations that will be repealed come from agencies that impact businesses and individuals directly – 137 regulations in the Department of Business and Industry, 120 in the Department of Motor Vehicles and 95 in the Department of Taxation.

The Nevada DMV will see 120 regulations repealed.

Today Sandoval said a less burdensome regulatory system will help Nevada attract jobs.

“My goal is to make Nevada the most business-friendly state in the country,” he said. “I think that sent an incredible message that we’re in Nevada are going to have important regulations that are business friendly, and we think that it’s going to have a large impact and compliments what this plan does today.

“Over-regulation in other states has suffocated business and we think that that is going to be a very attractive component of our ability to attract those businesses to come to our state,” Sandoval said.

At the Department of Motor Vehicles, the regulation which requires schools for training drivers to establish a place of business located in Nevada is being repealed. Repeal was recommended because requiring internet based schools to establish a place of business in the state constitutes an unnecessary burden with little to no increased consumer protection (NAC 483.766(1)(a)).

In the Manufactured Housing Division (MHD), NAC 461.125 is being repealed. The regulation requires that every manufactured building in the state equipped with a toilet have a label affixed to it indicating the maximum amount of water the toilet uses for each flush. The MHD states that this regulation is duplicative and unnecessary.

During the freeze, all regulations were reviewed to determine if they were still necessary, to identify any adverse impact on business, to clarify language and address duplication or inconsistencies, and to determine if the public value outweighed the cost of the regulation itself.

“With my executive order, I established a set of regulatory priorities for this administration  – namely, to protect the health and welfare of the people of Nevada without discouraging economic growth,” Sandoval said.

Additionally, Sandoval has given his cabinet specific directions to refocus their approach to rule-making. Regulations will not be frozen, but every regulatory body will be required to notify the governor’s office of proposed actions and include notice of how the proposed regulation is consistent with Sandoval’s priority to keep Nevada’s economy moving.

“My office will provide a thorough review of the rule-making process to ensure government doesn’t get in the way of job growth,” Sandoval said.

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Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says his goal is to make Nevada the most business-friendly state in the country:

020712Sandoval1 :14 plan does today.”

Sandoval says over-regulation has suffocated businesses in other states:

020712Sandoval2 :09 to our state.”

U.S. Senate Candidates Berkley, Heller, Trade Barbs On Chinese Currency Issue

By Sean Whaley | 3:35 pm October 5th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Last week it was a dispute about the Small Business Jobs Act and whether it will create any jobs in Nevada that generated controversy between the two major party candidates for the U.S. Senate.

This week the issue is Chinese currency manipulation and its negative effects on job creation in Nevada and the nation that has the candidates firing back and forth.

Jobs, or more precisely the lack of jobs, is clearly the key in the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Shelly Berkley, D-Nev.

In a telephone conference call today, Berkley blasted Heller for opposing the legislation that would impose sanctions on the Chinese government for manipulating its currency, a practice she said has cost nearly 2.8 million jobs in the U.S. between 2001 and 2010, including 14,800 in Nevada.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., addresses the Legislature earlier this year. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

“This election is about one issue: jobs,” Berkley said in a telephone conference with the media. “Nevada’s unemployment is still a record high. However, not everyone in Washington is working to create jobs for Nevada and for the rest of our nation. In fact, there are some here in the nation’s capital who are doing the exact opposite.”

The Senate voted 79-19 in support of the Chinese currency bill, with Heller, appointed to fill out the term of John Ensign, who resigned, voting against the measure. Some Democrat senators voted against the bill as well.

“This is not just unacceptable, it is shameful, and it shows my opponent just doesn’t get it,” Berkley said. “Across the state Nevadans are scratching their heads, and they are asking: ‘who do you work for Dean, the Chinese, the Chinese government, or Nevada’s working families.’ Job creation needs to be our top priority.”

Heller, speaking in support of three amendments to the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform bill on the Senate floor today, said the measure takes the wrong approach to job creation and could be detrimental to U.S. economic growth.

U.S. Senator Dean Heller.

“Inciting a trade war with China will not create jobs,” he said. “In my home state of Nevada, a trade war would hurt tourism. It would stifle growth in renewable energy development and increase costs to consumers at a time when they can least afford it.

“Working to sell American goods in foreign markets is what we should be fighting for,” Heller said. “Instead, it seems job creation and economic growth has taken a back seat to political posturing and grandstanding here in Washington.”

Heller has proposed an amendment to the legislation that he says would help create jobs in the U.S. by addressing government policies affecting the domestic critical minerals supply chain.

“Within the United States are some of the largest concentrations of rare earth minerals in the world,” Heller said in a release discussing the amendment. “At a time when Nevada is leading the country in unemployment, we need access to the natural resources in our backyard now more than ever.”

He also spoke in support of an amendment to the legislation that will rein in excessive federal regulations that are stifling job creation.

Heller said the proposal would require a market-benefit analysis so the public can know the true cost of any proposed regulations.

Berkley said during the telephone conference that the U.S. is already in a trade war with China, one that Nevada working families are losing. The measure would level the playing field, she said. By keeping the value of their currency artificially low, it makes it impossible for American manufacturing to compete, Berkley said.

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Audio clips:

Rep. Shelley Berkley says Heller is not working to create jobs in Nevada:

100511Berkley1 :19 the exact opposite.”

Berkley says Heller is siding with the Chinese government over unemployed Nevadans:

100511Berkley2 :19 doesn’t get it.”

Berkley says Nevadans want to know who Heller is working for:

100511Berkley3 :13 our top priority.”

Sen. Dean Heller says the currency bill could incite a trade war with China:

100511Heller1 :24 least afford it.”

Heller says working to sell American goods in foreign markets is what we should be fighting for:

100511Heller2 :23 have failed miserably.”

Heller says Congress needs to roll back regulations that are tying the hands of entrepreneurs:

100511Heller3 :14 pockets of Americans.”

 

 

U.S. Department Of Transportation Not Pushing To Regulate Farm Vehicles On Public Roadways

By Sean Whaley | 11:27 am August 10th, 2011

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the U.S. Department of Transportation’s position that it had never contemplated the rules change that provoked concerns from some farmers and elected officials.

CARSON CITY – A federal agency that critics said was evaluating new rules that would have applied commercial motor vehicle regulations to farm vehicles on public roadways is not pursuing any changes, bringing a sigh of relief to Nevada farmers and ranchers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said in a statement today that it has determined “that most states have already adopted common sense enforcement practices that allow farmers to safely move equipment to and from their fields.”

The agency did issue new guidance on the issue but said it never had contemplated making the changes that provoked concern from farmers and elected officials from around the country.

Critics concerned about a potential rules change by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said any such change would be burdensome and unnecessary, adding costs and more bureaucracy to family farmers and ranchers.

Stalk puller. / Courtesy of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Applying the code to tractors and other farm vehicles would have required drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license. Registration of the vehicles would also have been required.

Currently farm vehicles are not regulated under the commercial code and are allowed to use public roadways in Nevada for brief trips as special mobile equipment, said Tom Jacobs, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

Farm officials around the country expressed opposition to any such change, saying it was not needed to improve safety on public roadways by requiring commercial drivers’ licenses for those who operate farm machinery.

Doug Busselman, executive vice president of the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation, said the regulations would have added more costs and bureaucracy on family farmers and ranchers at a time when job creation should be the nation’s top priority.

The possible changes caught the attention of members of Congress as well.

Twenty-two U.S. senators sent a letter to the agency last week expressing their concerns: “While we agree road safety should be a top priority, we believe new regulations would amount to yet another government overreach and would have negative consequences on the food production industry.”

But an agency spokesman said today no rule-making was ever contemplated. There was a question raised in one Midwestern state about whether farmers using crop sharing arrangements might be required to obtain commercial drivers licenses. So the comment period was requested and guidance was issued saying they were exempted as were other farmers.

The agency today issued a statement clarifying its position: “No regulations will be proposed for any new safety requirements or changes to the rules governing the transport of agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm.”

Secretary Ray LaHood said: “We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy. Farmers deserve to know that reasonable, common sense exemptions will continue to be consistently available to agricultural operations across the country, and that’s why we released this guidance.”

This guidance – which does not impose any new rules on farmers – follows the Federal Register public notice which FMCSA issued on May 31, 2011, asking farmers, farm organizations and the public to give input on the agency’s longstanding safety rules.

“We want to make it absolutely clear that farmers will not be subjected to new and impractical safety regulations,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari. “The farm community can be confident that states will continue to follow the regulatory exemptions for farmers that have always worked so well.”

“FMCSA is pleased with the input we’ve received from the agricultural community and members of Congress. We received about 1,700 comments and the vast majority called for us to preserve the guidance that leaves states to carry out the farm exceptions as they have for many years,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “We want to make crystal clear that we are not imposing any new regulations.”

Sandoval Sworn In As Governor, Announces Regulation Freeze As Pro-Business Move

By Sean Whaley | 5:22 pm January 3rd, 2011

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval wasted no time getting to work after being sworn into office today, signing an executive order freezing many proposed administrative regulations as evidence that Nevada is a business friendly state.

The freeze, which will last until Jan. 1, 2012, has exceptions for regulations affecting the public health, public safety and security and those needed in the pursuit of federal funds and certifications.

Sandoval signed the order, and another establishing ethics requirements for certain public officers and employees, just minutes after being sworn in as Nevada’s 29th governor in a chilly ceremony on the steps of the state Capitol.

He also signed a proclamation urging parents to set aside time to read to their children.

Sandoval said bringing new jobs to Nevada is his top priority, and the regulation freeze is intended to demonstrate the state’s commitment to a business friendly climate.

“As I talked about during the course of my campaign, economic diversity and promoting our economy are my No. 1 priority,” Sandoval said. “This regulation will put a freeze on regulations in the state of Nevada.”

The freeze will allow his administration to review and ensure existing regulations are business friendly and to allow for the removal of any regulations that are obsolete or unnecessary. During the freeze, no new regulations will be proposed or acted on unless exempted from the order.

Sandoval said there was no specific regulation that prompted the order.

“I want it to be very important that we have a regulatory structure for the businesses that are here in the state of Nevada, as well as the businesses that may be coming here, to understand that Nevada is going to work with you,” he said.

“The key is getting people back to work,” Sandoval said. “I think we need to have a business friendly state, that’s why they are leaving California, because they are being over-taxed and over-regulated.”

Chief of Staff Heidi Gansert said the executive order is “setting the tone to keep Nevada business friendly.”

“Let’s kind of stop just adding regulations to the books and let’s see what we have,” she said.

In comments made in his office, Sandoval called the experience of being sworn into office by Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Douglas “very humbling.”

Douglas also administered the oath of office to the state’s other constitutional officers, including Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, Secretary of State Ross Miller, Treasurer Kate Marshall and Controller Kim Wallin.

In the audience for the ceremony were Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. On the dais for the ceremony were three former governors: Bob Miller, Richard Bryan and Bob List. An empty chair represented the late Gov. Kenny Guinn. Former Gov. Jim Gibbons did not attend.

In his 13-minute inaugural address, Sandoval said he is optimistic about Nevada’s future.

“Some would have us believe that Nevada’s best days are behind us,” he said. “If we make the tough choices, the right choices, we will be rewarded with a dramatically different future. I believe it can be done. And I am optimistic that Nevada’s best days are yet to come.”

He also called for cooperation with legislative leaders, state officials and all Nevada residents in solving the state’s budget problems.

That spirit of cooperation will likely be tested after the 2011 session begins Feb. 7, however. Both the state Senate and Assembly are in the control of Democrats, and Sandoval is a Republican. Sandoval has said he will balance the upcoming two-year budget without any new taxes or fees, while some lawmakers of both parties have suggested tax increases will likely have to be part of any budget solution.

Sandoval acknowledged that tough cuts will be needed to balance the state budget, which will have about $5.3 billion in general fund revenue, well below current spending levels due to the loss of federal stimulus funds and expiring tax increases.

“I find no satisfaction in the difficult decisions we must soon make,” he said.

Sandoval planned to meet with legislative leaders today to continue budget discussions. He also plans to meet with the state’s mayors.

Sandoval said he will share in the sacrifice, forgoing a raise authorized by the Legislature and taking an additional pay cut as well.

Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says regulation freeze is part of plan to ensure Nevada is business friendly:

010311Sandoval1 :23 are business friendly.”

Sandoval says he is optimistic about the future of Nevada:

010311Sandoval2 :13 the legislative leadership.”

Sandoval says Nevada wants to work with business to help in economic recovery:

010311Sandoval3 :12 work with you.”

Gibbons to Approve Real ID Regulations Despite ACLU Objections

By Sean Whaley | 1:11 pm December 8th, 2009
CARSON CITY – The ACLU of Nevada has sent a letter to Gov. Jim Gibbons asking him not to approve emergency regulations to bring the state into compliance with the federal Real ID Act.

Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel to the ACLU of Nevada, said the act is an unfunded federal mandate that puts the privacy rights of Nevadans at risk.

“It creates a national identification card that every American will be required to carry in order to fly interstate on commercial airlines, enter government buildings such as courthouses, open a bank account, and more,” he said. “These requirements do little to address critical public safety issues while putting us at greater risk for invasions of privacy and identify theft.”

While he will consider the concerns, Gibbons said today he expects to sign the regulations by the end of the month.

“It has direct impact to the state of Nevada if we don’t move forward with Real ID,” he said.

Gibbons said Nevada’s new drivers’ license complies with Real ID security requirements. It does not contain a computer chip that has raised privacy concerns, he said.

It is not a national identity card, but a new version of a Nevada drivers’ license, Gibbons said.

Tom Jacobs, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, said the emergency regulations needed to comply with Real ID are primarily related to activities behind the DMV counter. The new license has data on the back in the form of a bar code, but that code has no more personal information than what is on the front of the card that can be read by anyone, he said. The new license does not have any new personal information requirements either, Jacobs said.

Lichtenstein noted that in 2007, the Legislature passed a resolution urging Congress to repeal the Real ID Act.

The Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations refused to approve the regulations implementing Real ID in late November, recommending instead that emergency regulations be adopted instead.

Lichtenstein said his reading of Nevada law says that Gibbons can address federal mandates only with the approval of the Legislative Commission.

“Nevadans deserve more than last minute decisions that threaten fundamental privacy rights and burden them as taxpayers, he said.

Gibbons Says Legislature Acted Irresponsibly By Failing to Approve Unemployment Regulations

By Sean Whaley | 12:37 pm December 4th, 2009
CARSON CITY – Gov. Jim Gibbons is rejecting the suggestion made by a lawmaker that his administration delayed action on regulations needed to ensure the continuation of unemployment benefits for out-of-work Nevadans beginning Jan. 1.

In an “op/ed” article sent to Nevada news media outlets, Gibbons said the law was followed and key dates were met by the Employment Security Division in preparing the regulations that set the unemployment insurance rates for businesses for the coming year.

The agency sought pre-approval of the regulations from the Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations on Nov. 24. The panel rejected the request, however, telling the agency to craft emergency regulations instead.

Members of the panel were concerned that approving the regulations before a public hearing scheduled for this Monday would preclude public comment.

Gibbons said the committee members were told by employment security officials that two public hearings had already been held on the regulations.

The legislative committee rejected two other sets of regulations at the meeting, citing the same concerns about circumventing the public hearing process. Emergency regulations will now be required for these as well.

“The public paid the committee to meet in November 2009 and do nothing,” Gibbons said. “Due to the committee’s irresponsible action, the cost to the public of enacting these three regulations will be significantly higher because agency staff will have to go through two rule-making processes to get the same end result. Taxpayers will also pay the committee members for yet another meeting to do what they should have done last week.”

The assertion by Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, the chairman of the panel, that the agency had a year to draft the regulations is not correct, Gibbons said.

The process could not begin until after Sept. 30 by state law, and the process began on the fourth business day after that date, he said.

The request to pre-approve the regulations was made because the legislative panel had no further scheduled meetings after the upcoming Monday hearing date and the end of the year, Gibbons said.

“These dates and procedures clearly show that Assemblyman Conklin’s explanation for the Legislature’s lack of action is inaccurate at best,” Gibbons said.