Ted Gaines calls for deregulation to bolster local, state economy
Tahoe Daily Tribune
TRUCKEE, Calif. – Calling for deregulation at the state and local levels, Republican Sen. Ted Gaines this week challenged residents to identify and eliminate unnecessary roadblocks and consider strong tax reforms to help the challenges facing small businesses hit hard by the Great Recession.
“I think we’re taking more of an evolutionary approach when it comes to turning this economy around and I think it ought to be a revolutionary one,” said Gaines during Tuesday’s Good Morning Truckee meeting at town council chambers.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s current plans for economic growth and a balanced budget are too soft and are not what’s needed to spur the state’s employment and financial health, said Gaines.
For example, he said a significant need exists to reform or do away with parts of the state’s Disabled Persons Act and a state law called the Unruh Act, both linked to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Speaking specifically about Scott Johnson – an ADA lawyer who’s sued multiple businesses across the state and in Truckee and various California communities around Lake Tahoe – Gaines described his lawsuits and litigation linked with them as “unjust.”
“(Johnson) has sued many people in South Lake Tahoe and Auburn area and up in the northern counties of my district, and people are angry, frustrated and upset and it’s unjust,” Gaines said. “We should always look for an individual to rectify a problem when it comes to regulation in California.”
Other examples of the need for deregulation, Gaines said, include recent legislation mandating fitted sheets in hotels, unionizing baby sitters and offering subsidized higher education to illegal residents – at a time when legal residents are having a hard time enrolling in college.
The recent economic leadership of British Columbia can be a model of deregulation, he said, speaking specifically to the leadership of BC Premier Gordon Campbell, of the BC Liberal Party, who served from 2001 to March 2011.
During Campbell’s terms, Gaines said his administration sought economic growth through financial deregulation, identifying in the span of two years all regulations pertaining to businesses – about 400,000 nationwide for BC – then eliminating all repetitive, conflicting, outdated or cost-prohibitive roadblocks.
“At the end of that two-year time frame, they eliminated 42 percent of the regulations (relating to businesses) – 160,000 regulations taken off the books,” Gaines said, and linked the deregulation to an economic boom in BC.
While admitting a revolutionary campaign similar to BC would take time, Gaines encouraged residents to apply the principal of deregulation locally.
“We’ve been looking at it backwards; we’ve been over taxing and over regulating,” Gaines said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for business owners and citizens in Truckee to engage in the political process. We are living in a historic economic downturn and we need to rethink the way government in California runs, and that includes regulatory reform.”