Regulation and Subsidies

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Nevada Senate Bill 45: Remove requirement for state inspection of public university buildings

 

Check out this key bill passed by elected officials in Nevada, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 45, Remove requirement for state inspection of public university buildings: Passed 21 to 0 in the state Senate on February 22, 2017

 

To eliminate the requirement that the State Public Works Division periodically inspect all buildings at the State universities. All buildings and physical plant facilities owned by any part of the Nevada System of Higher Education would be exempt from the requirement of periodic state inspections.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Nevada Senate Bill 45!

 

Iowa House Bill 134: To prohibit local governments from limiting the number of unrelated people who can share rental housing

 

Check out this key bill passed by elected officials in Iowa, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

House Bill 134, To prohibit local governments from limiting the number of unrelated people who can share rental housing: Passed 43 to 6 in the state Senate on April 11, 2017

 

To prohibit local governments from regulating or banning rental housing based on whether the renters in a unit are related to each other.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Iowa House Bill 134!

 

West Virginia House Bill 2303: Increase littering fines

 

 

Check out this key bill passed by elected officials in West Virginia, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

West Virginia House Bill 2303, Increase littering fines: Passed 95 to 3 in the state House on February 20, 2017

 

To increase the fines and community service hours for littering.

 

Comment below to share what you think of West Virginia House Bill 2303!

 

Wisconsin Senate Bill 15: Require legislation for expensive regulations

 

Check out this key bill passed by elected officials in Wisconsin, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 15, Require legislation for expensive regulations: Passed 19 to 14 in the state Senate on May 2, 2017

 

To mandate that any regulations that impose a cost of $10 million or more over a two-year period can only be implemented upon passage of legislation. The bill also requires more oversight from legislators during the writing of new regulations.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Wisconsin Senate Bill 15!

 

Arizona House Bill 2022: Legalize rat-shot and snake-shot ammunition

 

Check out this key bill passed by elected officials in Arizona, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

House Bill 2022, Legalize rat-shot and snake-shot ammunition: Passed 35 to 25 in the state House on February 1, 2017

 

To permit the use of rat-shot or snake-shot ammunition within a municipality by exempting it from laws against discharge of firearms.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Arizona House Bill 2022!

 

Missouri Senate Bill 329: Update warranty repair mandates for car dealerships

 

Check out this key bill passed by elected officials in Missouri, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 329, Update warranty repair mandates for car dealerships: Passed 31 to 0 in the state Senate on March 16, 2017

 

To revise a law that prohibits consumers from having warranty repairs done at the shop of their choice and only permits franchise dealers to do that work. This bill would remove confusion about how the law applies to engine manufacturers.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Missouri Senate Bill 329!

 

U.S. Regulatory Reform Tracker

 

Learn more about the Congressional Review Act, then check out these key regulatory reform bills considered by Congress, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

U.S. Joint Resolution 43, Overturn rule prohibiting states from defunding Planned Parenthood: Passed 230 to 188 in the U.S. House on February 16, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation that prohibits states from denying federal funding to family planning organizations for reasons unrelated to the quality of care they offer. This rule was aimed at stopping states from defunding Planned Parenthood.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 69, Overturn Alaska wildlife control rule: Passed 225 to 193 in the U.S. House on February 16, 2017 and 52 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on March 21, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration rule that would restrict the practice of killing predators such as wolves and bears in national wildlife refuges in Alaska.

 

U.S. House Bill 1009, Reform the regulatory process: Passed 241 to 184 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2017

 

To place in statute a requirement that a bureau called the Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) must review proposed regulations that impose an annual cost on the economy of at least $100 million. Agencies must have considered alternatives, looked at costs, minimized the potential cost on society, and more. Agencies that have not done so must change their regulations to comply with OIRA's suggestions.The bill would expand OIRA's scope to independent agencies, such as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

 

U.S. House Join Resolution 83, Overturn workplace injury reporting rule: Passed 231 to 191 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2107 and 50 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 22, 2017

 

To overturn an Obama administration regulation that required businesses to record injuries and illnesses in the workplace and retain those records for five years.

 

U.S. House Bill 998, Create regulatory review commission: Passed 240 to 185 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2017

 

To establish a commission that would review federal rules that should be repealed to lower the cost of regulation. The commission will prioritize examining rules that are older than 15 years and that impose a high cost or paperwork burden. Congress could repeal a rule recommended by the commission with a joint resolution. Agencies issuing new rules would be mandated to offset that new rule by eliminating a rule recommended by the commission.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 42, Overturn rule restricting unemployment drug testing: Passed 236 to 189 in the U.S. House on February 15, 2017 and 51 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 14, 2017

 

To overturn a Department of Labor regulation that allowed states to drug test applicants for unemployment benefits only if the applicants were suited for jobs that required drug testing. In effect, the rule being overturned would not allow states to use widespread drug testing for unemployment benefits.

 

U.S. Joint Resolution 40, Overturn ban gun possession for some Social Security recipients: Passed 235 to 180 in the U.S. House on February 2, 2017 and 57 to 40 in the U.S. Senate on February 15, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration rule that would prohibit Social Security Income and Disability recipients who are determined to have certain mental disorders from possessing a firearm. Under this rule, anyone in this category who possessed a firearm would be committing a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 36, Overturn methane flaring rule: Passed 221 to 191 in the U.S. House  on February 3, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation that would require energy companies to reduce the release of methane when producing natural gas on federal and tribal lands. The rule would also impose royalty payments on some methane that has been released. This rule would supersede state regulations governing methane releases.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 44, Overturn BLM rule reducing local government role in resource management: Passed 234 to 186 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017 and 51 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 7, 2017

 

To overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s “resource management” rule that would reduce the role of local governments in developing BLM plans and give greater weight to input from the public in the preliminary planning process. 

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 57, Overturn federal failing school mandate: Passed 234 to 190 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017.

 

To overturn a Department of Education regulation directing states to identify failing schools using plans to measure the performance of groups of students according to federal standards.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 58, Overturn teacher preparation regulation: Passed 240 to 181 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017 and 59 to 40 in the U.S. Senate on March 8, 2017

 

To overturn a Department of Education regulation mandating that states report on the quality of teacher preparation programs, with the possibility of funds being removed from states that do not meet federal standards.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution on 41, Overturn additional disclosure mandates on natural resource companies: Passed 235 to 187 in the U.S. House on February 1, 2017 and 52 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on February 3, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration’s rule that resource extraction companies (such as mining, energy, or timber companies) must disclose any payments, such as fees, made to foreign governments.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 37, Overturn mandatory reporting rule for labor issues: Passed 236 to 187 in the U.S. House on February 2, 2017 and 49 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration’s regulations that any company bidding on a federal contract over $500,000 must disclose any violations of labor law or alleged violations of labor law from the past three years.

 

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 38, Overturn coal mining stream rule: Passed 228 to 194 in the U.S. House on February 1, 2017 and 54 to 45 in the U.S. Senate on February 2, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation mandating complex new rules on how coal companies dispose of mining waste near waterways. The rule also mandated that companies must extensively survey ecosystems prior to mining and then fully restore those ecosystems once mining is complete.

 

U.S. House Bill 78, Modify financial regulation procedure: Passed 243 to 184 in the U.S. House on January 12, 2017

 

To require that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) determine the nature and source of a problem before it issues a regulation; issue a regulation only if the benefits justify its cost; assess alternatives to a regulation; and only promulgate regulations that are understandable. The bill also requires that the SEC review old regulations to determine if they are still needed or are too burdensome, and assess the economic impact and effectiveness of large regulations it proposes.

 

U.S. House Bill 35, Reshape federal regulation process: Passed 238 to 183 in the U.S. House on January 11, 2017

 

To alter how federal agencies issue regulations. This bill would require that agencies consider the cost of proposed regulations and issue less costly rules if possible, give judges wider leeway to strike down regulations, and prevent regulations costing a billion dollars or more from going into effect until any court challenges against them have been settled. The bill would also require that regulators consider new rules’ impact on small business, publish transparency reports, and write 100-word regulatory summaries in plain English.

 

U.S. House Bill 26, Mandate congressional approval of major regulations: Passed 237 to 187 in the U.S. House on January 5, 2017

 

To require that Congress must approve “major” regulations before they go into effect. The bill defines these regulations as costing the economy $100 million annually, imposing a major cost increase on consumers, or significantly affecting U.S. economic productivity or competition.

 

U.S. House Bill 21, Allow review of last-minute regulations: Passed 238 to 184 in the U.S. House on January 4, 2017

 

To empower Congress to disapprove whole batches of new regulations imposed during the last days of a president’s term by agencies with a single roll call vote. Under current law, congress has the authority to invalidate "last minute rules" promulgated by an outgoing administration, but doing so requires them to be disapproved one at a time. This legislation would allow disapproval of all regulations submitted during the last 60 days of the congressional session that occurs during the final year of a president’s term.

 

Comment below to share what you think on regulatory reform!

Congress Busy Overturning Regulations

 

Updated February 24, 2017

 

Congress has been very busy since it convened in early January. Even before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of Congress were busy writing and voting on legislation. One area is getting a lot of attention from our federal legislators – overturning regulations using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

 

Not only is it unusual for Congress to target a large number of regulations to reject, but using the CRA at all is quite rare. After the Republican sweep in the 1994 election, Congress enacted the CRA in 1996 as part of the “Contract with America.” Its provisions have only been used one time prior to this year. Since January, however, the House of Representatives has considered eight resolutions that would overturn Obama Administration rules. More are on the way.

 

Under the CRA, a majority in Congress has the power to pass a resolution that would undo any rule issued by a federal agency issued within the prior 60 legislative days. The agency is barred from ever again issuing a regulation that is similar to the one rejected. Unlike other legislation, this resolution cannot be filibustered in the Senate. The president must sign the resolution for it to take effect.

 

This year is the first time when party control of Congress and the presidency coincide to make the CRA workable in any significant way. Republican President Trump took office from his Democratic predecessor, whose administration issued a variety of controversial regulations during its final year in office. Last year, members of Congress were out of town a lot, so the threshold of 60 legislative days stretches far back into 2016 to cover numerous regulations issued by the Obama Administration. President Trump has signaled that he is willing to sign regulatory rollback resolutions, so the Republican majority in Congress has an unrivaled opportunity to strike back at Obama-era rules that they don’t like.

 

Stay tuned and check the Regulatory Reform Tracker for weekly updates on Congress' efforts to rollback and overhaul regulations!

 

Would a Redskins Stadium be Worth It?

The Washington Redskins may be coming to Virginia. Would the state benefit if taxpayers shelled out for a new stadium?

Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe is having what he calls “very serious negotiations” to persuade the Washington Redskins to move to Northern Virginia. While the Redskins’ current lease in Maryland is not up for another decade, the team is already looking at its options for future stadiums.

Governor McCauliffe would like the state to use its resources to persuade the team to move across the Potomac River. However, he also says, “It’s got to make sense for the taxpayers of Virginia.”

Will such a deal make sense for taxpayers? It may be possible, but it will be difficult. The academic literature on the economic impact of stadiums and the return to taxpayers is summed up by researchers from the Brookings Institution:

A new sports facility has an extremely small (perhaps even negative) effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility appears to have earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment. No recent facility has been self-financing in terms of its impact on net tax revenues. Regardless of whether the unit of analysis is a local neighborhood, a city, or an entire metropolitan area, the economic benefits of sports facilities are de minimus.

Virginians may gain some pride from having the Washington Redskins located within their commonwealth. However, as Governor McCauliffe works to lure the team, he should be aware of the ways that stadium subsidies can go wrong.

Do you support using taxpayer dollars to subsidize sports stadiums?

Pat Toomey's sanctuary city bill fails to advance

The Senate failed to pass Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey’s legislation to bar some federal funds from cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration laws. Do you think that cities, which are under no obligation to enforce federal law, should be denied funds if they do not cooperate with deportation requests from the federal government?

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/elections/mc-pat-toomey-sanctuary-city-senate-vote-20160706-story.html

State-Run Internet Gambling

According to Capitol reporter Tim Skubick writing for Mlive, last November the Michigan lottery quietly began letting individuals buy lottery tickets online. The number of online users has grown 300 percent, from 86,000 the first month to 322,000 now, with sales of $147 million.

 

Elsewhere in the Capitol, a Senate committee has advanced Senate Bills 889 and 890 to the full body for consideration. The bills would allow casinos in the state to enter the internet gambling market, subject to a 10 percent tax. A fiscal analysis suggests the move may or may not increase state revenues, because it could divert sales from the lottery.

 

None of the above addresses the ethical concerns surrounding state governments not just being in the gambling business but advertising heavily to entice individuals to gamble.

 

Research suggests that low-income and minority individuals disproportionately spend money on lottery gambling, where even more than casinos “the house” is the only real winner. In other words, government lotteries prey upon those least able to afford them.

 

PA. still hasn't gotten booze sales right

Even with recent reforms, Pennsylvania still has complicated laws governing the sale of alcohol. These laws include mandating that all liquor sales take place at state-run stores to limiting the number of bottles of wine you can buy at grocery stores. Is this the proper role of state government? Or should Pennsylvania legislators reduce restrictions and allow private businesses to sell alcohol?

http://www.ydr.com/story/opinion/editorials/2016/06/13/pa-still-hasnt-gotten-booze-sales-right-editorial/85690622/

Yoga schools get special treatment

Regulation for Thee but Not Me?

Michigan imposes a licensure mandate on trade schools that subjects them to regulation, fees, government inspections, reporting requirements and more. This week the state Senate passed a bill to exempt a particular kind of trade school from the mandate.

According to an analysis prepared by the House Fiscal Agency, part of the rationale for the bills was, “the regulations reportedly have created a business environment that deters many…from offering or expanding instruction programs.”

Operators of other trade schools may be wondering why, if the law is considered a deterrent to business, the bill didn’t repeal the licensure mandate for all trade schools.

The law covers what are called “proprietary schools,” and give classes in subjects that include boat building, massage therapy and others. The schools that got the special exemption through the Senate are yoga instructors.

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