State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) said he’s on board with Gov. Kay Ivey’s call to cut back government regulations that place burdens on the state’s economy.
“During my inaugural address, I promised we would reduce burdens holding back our businesses with the goal of cutting regulations by 25 percent over the next two years,” Ivey said during her State of the State address last week. “I am proud to share with you all that … I will sign an executive order to cut red tape so that our businesses are not held back, but can thrive.
“As I like to say, sometimes the best thing government can do is just get out of the way!”
Thursday on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Elliott discussed how the Legislature could remove red tape from the economy of the Yellowhammer State.
“One of the last vestiges of Democratic control in my mind, this last part of big government, is boards and commissions that are still out there. We have a ton of them,” Elliott said. “And they’re everything from locksmiths to wrestling, some of the most obscure things you would ever think of, and they all have their own little fiefdoms.”
The legislator said there are a lot of inefficiencies when it comes to how these boards and commissions operate.
“What we’re going to try to do is consolidate some of that,” he said. “Not necessarily doing away with the board, but really trying to help them become more efficient. And then, once we do that, make sure they’re serving really a public purpose.”
Elliott noted just how much of an impact these groups have on the overall economy in Alabama.
“Almost 23% of the state’s entire workforce falls under the regulatory authority of one of these boards that really does operate under the authority of the state, but without a lot of oversight of the state,” he said. “Some of whom even have these kind of private firms running them. So my hope is to consolidate that, work with the governor and her commission to do that, so that we’re running that portion of state government as efficiently as possible.”
Elliott believes these reforms will help the overall labor market and encourage young people to find work in more trade jobs.
“With unemployment rates as they are, labor participation rates like they are, we really need to work to get more kids involved in that,” he said, “and those boards can be, don’t know if they necessarily are now without singling anyone out, as involved as they should be as getting more folks out of high school interested in those trades and interested in those particular professions.
“With it being as disparate and spread out as it is right now, it’s really hard to manage that. Hopefully trying to consolidate some of that will get us, not just efficiency there, but will get us some efficiency in some workforce training as well.”
Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee
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