Regulatory Reform

Red tape, delays contribute to the cost of housing

In a couple of stories yesterday, the Seattle Times writes about a proposal to tax nonresident buyers of Seattle real estate as a way to address the high price of Seattle housing. The Times reports that City Attorney Pete Holmes said such a tax would be illegal.

New regulatory reform for small business

This week Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law House Bill 1120, a regulatory reform bill sponsored by state Rep. Norma Smith (R-Clinton). According to a news release from Rep. Smith, the legislation was

Auditor: Room for improvement in agencies’ implementation of the Regulatory Fairness Act

The State Auditor’s Office has identified several ways to make Washington’s Regulatory Fairness Act work better. This new performance audit is part of a regulatory reform series the SAO began in 2011.

Policy Today podcast: Expanded state environmental regulations threaten union jobs

Today's topic is the expanded state environmental regulations that, due to their arbitrary and excessive nature, threaten to send good-paying jobs - many of them union jobs - out of Washington state.

Housing affordability, regulatory reform, and rent control

Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis writes about “the Housing Trilemma.” (Via Jon Talton.) As Lehner puts it,

Next level regulatory reform

Tyler Cowen links to a recent paper on Canadian regulatory reform by Laura Jones of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Governor's new carbon-cap rule could include Seattle's lone steel manufacturing plant

Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee directed the state Department of Ecology to start "writing a rule that would cap and reduce carbon pollution." This directive came after the governor's carbon cap-and-trade proposal died in the 2015 legislative session.

Policy Today, Common Ground edition: Rep. Norma Smith on reforming state regulations

Today we're joined by 10th District state Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, who along with the State Auditor's Office has spearheaded a number of successful bills to make state agencies more efficient and customer-friendly in the way they regulate and issue permits to business owners and startups.

Rep. Norma Smith, R-10Rep. Smith hopes to reach a point where Washington can have a one-stop portal for people to get information on all the permits they need to open, expand, or continue their business. First, however, there have been and continue to be preliminary steps needed to make state government more customer-friendly. One of her bills, for example, dealt with online availability of license and permit applications. Notes Rep. Smith:

"Even though we had an entire agency dedicated to helping [business owners] know what licenses were out there, we found out only 16 percent of Washington state's licenses were on the BLS [Business Licensing Service] website, and only two of the most 10 requested. So we had to run a bill that told the agencies to do that."

Policy Today: State agencies need to work on regulatory reform

In this week's Policy Today podcast we delve into regulatory reform, which is the topic of our most recent Special Report. The state auditor's office has done a series of audits of state agencies and found much room for improvement. To listen to past podcasts, click here.