New Deregulation Bills Filed
ARE LAWMAKERS GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT REGULATION?
The Policy Council has pointed out before the economically destructive effects of regulation. We’ve also argued that regulation is often – perhaps usually – less about protecting the consumer and more about protecting established businesses to the detriment of would-be entrepreneurs. Several months ago, the Governor’s Regulatory Review Task Force released its report and came to some of the same conclusions: the report proposed weakening or repealing many state regulations.
A quick look at new legislation, however, suggests that lawmakers have begun to act on SCPC’s recommendations: several have recently introduced bills to lessen South Carolina’s regulatory burden. Whether these introductions indicate serious attempts to roll back the regulatory burden, or whether they are mere gestures intended mainly for political cover, is impossible to say. But if passed, these initiatives would take significant steps in the right direction.
Sunset Provision for Regulations (Filed 3/25/14)
H.4962 would change the state’s regulatory environment dramatically. All regulations promulgated after July 1, 2014 would automatically expire five years after their enactment. We’ve reported before that sunset provisions like this proposal are one of the few policies that have had a statistically and economically significant effect in reducing regulation. Currently regulations must be reviewed five years after their enactment, but not removed. A sunset provision would make it harder for regulations to carry on through mere inertia. Instead, agencies would have to present the real-world costs and benefits of regulations they wish to continue.
Eliminating All Hair Braiding Licensure Laws (Filed 4/08/2014)
H.5063 would remove all licensure and registration requirements for those who wish to engage in hair braiding. Licensure requirements like those governing hair braiding help to stifle economic mobility and prevent financial independence for many who wish to use their skills. This would be an excellent change in law that would remove significant barriers to would be entrepreneurs.
Permitting More Low-Cost Contracting without a License (Filed 4/08/2014)
H.5064 would eliminate the licensure requirements for contract work under a certain value. Currently an individual must be licensed as a contractor to perform contracting work costing more than $5,000. Under H.5064 you would only need contracting licenses to perform contracting work costing over $10,000.
High School Diploma not required for Massage Therapist License (Filed 4/08/2014)
H.5065 would remove a high school diploma/GED from the requirements needed for licensure as a massage therapist. Instead, applicants for licensure would need only a tenth grade education or equivalent. Those who’ve acquired the necessary skills to perform their chosen profession shouldn’t be forced to take on additional costs in time and money to gain skills unrelated to their profession before they can work.
A Rental Booth Doesn’t Qualify as a Salon (Filed 4/08/2014)
H.5066 would change existing legal definitions by removing the language “part of a place or building” and “rental booth” from the definition of salon. This reform would exempt individual cosmetologists who have their own booths in larger salons from all the onerous regulations that come with being defined as a salon.
Loosening Regulations on Retail Sale Outlets Selling Funeral Merchandise (Filed 4/08/2014)
H.5067 would remove requirements that any retail sales outlet selling funeral merchandise (such as caskets) be licensed by the Board of Funeral Services to perform funeral services. In place of a funeral services permit, retail sales outlets would register with the board biannually as sale outlets for a $100 fee. This is a laudable attempt to lower both the costs of doing business for entrepreneurs and the price of goods for consumers. The bill also indicates a positive mindset change, at least among some legislators, in the regulation of the funeral industry. Regulators have up to this point been intransigent when it comes to reform, despite recommendations from the governor’s task force.
Omnibus Regulation Reform (Filed 4/08/2014)
H.5068 combines the regulatory reforms made in House bills 5063 through 5067 into one omnibus piece of legislation.