We Need to Prune Regulations, Not Regulate Pruning
Pulling out a bill from Andrew’s latest handy-dandy list, it’s not at all clear to me, setting aside crass considerations like the impact on our hedge trimming and lawn mowing bills, how this would improve our rankings of 49th worst business climate and 49th worst economy in the country.
A bill sponsored last week by Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr., D-Smithfield, would require landscapers to register with the state and it would also require them to carry “not less than” $100,000 in public liability and property damage insurance.
I just had two guys from the state come into our tanning salon. They inspected our water heater, to make sure it’s safe. The literature that was included in the thing they left warned my that an improperly maintained water heater has the potential to blow and send a car 14 stories into the air.
Sixty bucks to the state to keep my 8 gallon water heater inspected. Every year. And nobody even drives over it.
Monique- according to your 2 links, Texas and North Carolina rank 1 and 4 in top states for business in 2010. The second link reports that both Texas and North Carolina require landscapers to register as contractors. So, registration of landscapers is bad in RI but not in Texas (#1) or in North Carolina (#4)?
The RI Politburo punishes wealth and business while rewarding sloth, cronyism, perversion and illegal aliens.
Such a shock that we have a permanently stagnant economy.
I believe most landscaping companies carry some sort of liability insurance to begin with. The stupidity is forcing these business to be licensed and registered, hence another fee over and above normal business and incorporation costs.
It will add minimal fees to the state coffers from those who voluntarily register, it may add a position or two to the State payroll (I can’t imagine that there is anyone currently working at the RI Board of examiners of landscape architects who is going to enforce this law), and perhaps give the Division of Taxation a way to track income to those who may not currently be reporting it.
Sounds like the sponsor knows someone in the landscaping business who is feeling the financial impact of so many people who’ve gone into the landscape business now that they are unemployed.
That’s some bad mowing that causes $100,000 of damage.
Maybe another aspect of this is the illegal immigrants? Sure they can still go out and work mowing the grass and trimming hedges, but if a fully-licensed and permitted company sees one that he knows isn’t following the rules, he can report them and potentially put them out of business. This could be a good thing for landscapers to cut out the guys who get off a plane from some other country with a mower and rake and start up a business.
What about the insurance angle? Who is it that makes out selling the $100,000 insurance policies?
I think Patrick hits it on the head. Very few of the landscaping workers I have met speak English as a primary language. I expect this would provide insurance coverage for them.
BTW, according to an article in Money Magazine, one of the best ways to assure your child becomes a millionaire is to direct them into landscaping. That accords with many of the landscaping contractors I know, and most of those chiefly employ Guatamalens.
Interesting conversation I had with a very successful landscaping business owner a few days ago:
MG: “How’s business?”
LS: “It’s hard this year, all these other outfits are bringing in illegals and paying them sh*t. It really bites into competitiveness.”
MG: “Have you ever been tempted to hire illegals yourself?”
LS: “Oh, they make up most of my crew! I have to have an American to drive the truck and interface with customers, but the crews are mostly hispanic. You can’t get Americans to do that sort of work for twelve hours a day, no matter what you pay them. What bothers me is the other companies -not paying them- what they deserve; I pay all my illegals well!”
As for this being to somehow police the immigration issue… I doubt it. In this state, it’s hard enough to get -arrested people- checked against an immigration database. How do you think you’ll check harmless landscapers?
Some of you are missing the point. RI is ranked 49th in the country for business climate, and one of the parameters used to determine this is regulatory environment, for which we also rank 49th worst. We place too many regulatory burdens on our business owners in order for the business climate to thrive, with resultant economic stagnation.
I am amazed at the short sightedness and parochialism of some (perhaps most) Rhode Islanders. The regulatory and tax environment here is NOT normal. What needs to happen in order for people to grasp this concept and connect the dots?
“The literature that was included in the thing they left warned my that an improperly maintained water heater has the potential to blow and send a car 14 stories into the air.
Sixty bucks to the state to keep my 8 gallon water heater inspected. Every year. And nobody even drives over it.”
“RI is ranked 49th in the country for business climate, and one of the parameters used to determine this is regulatory environment, for which we also rank 49th worst. We place too many regulatory burdens on our business owners in order for the business climate to thrive, with resultant economic stagnation.”
For decades, legislators, in part, out of good intentions, have gradually piled onto businesses lots of regulations and fees, most often with the attitude that, “We have to protect people” or “oh, it’s a fee or a tax on a BUSINESS; that doesn’t count”.
In fact, it does count. It has all added up over time, driving businesses away one by one, to the point that the RI General Assembly has now succeeded in creating the second worst business climate in the country with the attendant lack of jobs and shrunken tax base.
The last thing they need to do, accordingly, is to find ever more ludicrous ways to regulate and oppress business in this state. In fact, we need to be going in exactly the opposite direction. We need to start LIFTING regulations and doing AWAY with unnecessary fees (Michael’s boiler fee being only one of several such assininities). And like, immediately; the sooner we start, the sooner we can turn around our state’s anti-business reputation.
You should send the Mythbusters guys the brochure with the 14-story water heater claim.