(Albuquerque) New Mexico’s business community and other groups have long discussed in broad terms the need for “regulatory reform.” And, as the Rio Grande Foundation has discovered by undertaking an exhaustive review of regulations imposed by various New Mexico governing bodies, our state is indeed overregulated at great cost to taxpayers, potential entrepreneurs and workers, and consumers.
Said Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing of his organization’s findings, “We looked high and low for some of the most obvious and egregious regulations on a wide variety of issues. While the primary state-level regulatory bodies in New Mexico are the Legislature and the Public Regulation Commission, burdensome and unnecessary regulations administered by the Courts were an unexpected discovery.”
To publicize the need for regulatory reforms and elimination, the Foundation will be publishing “an email a day” throughout January. These emails will include information on what other states do or don’t do to analyze regulations prior to adoption, explain how former US President Jimmy Carter used deregulation to set the table for the 1980s economic boom, and outlines a path toward wiser, fairer, more economically viable system for New Mexico’s various regulatory bodies.
Among the most egregious regulations found in the report:
• According to the Institute for Justice, there exist 52 low-income occupations that require licensing in New Mexico, including everything from funeral attendants to animal trainers. These requirements order individuals to pay fees as well as invest a considerable amount of time in training and education for jobs that could easily be learned in other ways;
• In 2009 the New Mexico State Legislature passed SB 33, which mandates that prevailing wages be set by collective bargaining agreements. These “Prevailing Wage” laws unnecessarily increase the prices taxpayers pay for roads and schools (and other public works progress) by up to 15%;
• New Mexico’s “common carrier” laws require potential entrants into the market for taxi cabs and other motor vehicle industries to gain approval from their competition. As Leslie Linthicum wrote in a recent Albuquerque Journal piece, this resulted in one prospective taxi operator spending eight years fighting to obtain approval from the Public Regulation Commission;
• The New Mexico Spaceport which cost taxpayers $209 million will be a total failure unless the Legislature passes a liability exemption for suppliers of parts and equipment for the spacecraft that will launch from the Spaceport. This liability exemption will not impact New Mexicans in any direct way unless they choose to pay $200,000 to go into space.
Concludes Gessing, “These and other regulations are holding New Mexico’s economy back. Nonetheless, deregulation should not be a partisan issue. While we have tried to be thorough, there are undoubtedly other rules and regulations that should be addressed. We welcome the input of others (and encourage you to sign up for the emails) at: info [at] riograndefoundation [dot] org
See the full report here.