Patrick Ishmael

In contrast to this Columbia Missourian story about the NoMORedTape regulatory reform project, I take a much rosier view of how the state's regulatory outreach project is doing. So far, hundreds of sections of regulation are explicitly cited in the NoMORedTape data as needing reform, and while it would be accurate to say that a lot of people want no change on one issue -- puppy mills -- it is also true, and enormously important to note, that a lot of people want a lot of change on a lot of other regulatory issues.

I was a little disappointed that the Missourian also went out of its way to portray many NoMORedTape respondents as somehow not grasping the purpose of the site, incharitably citing some of the least informed comments in its article while omitting serious responses. Indeed, I've found the vast majority of the comments to be enlightening.

Comments like:

I did not renew my minority women status because they made it so difficult. Faxes are no longer acceptable and the instructions were in a format that I could not open. When I used the password given me it was not acceptable. I gave up because I had no more time to spend on it.

And:

"Certificate of Need" process makes developing critically needed Senior Living buildings a political instead of market-based process. It is costing Missouri many millions of dollars of development. Our $35,000,000 development was just denied Monday in Jefferson City by anti-competition, anti-market political forces. Eliminate the "Certificate of Need" process entirely like almost ALL other states in our Union.

And:

Currently the Missouri Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education has too strict of rules for teacher and administrator certification, specifically for CTE professionals. In a time when we need more qualified candidates, they are often discouraged by the process.

And:

The University requires vendors to have Liability insurance that covers the University Curators. We print t-shirts, when has anybody sued over a t-shirt? 4 million dollars of liability insurance! This increases our costs and limits the smaller players or unnecessarily burdens the smaller players.

And so on.

Point being, regulatory reform is a serious issue that many serious people take seriously. I hope that public colloquy projects, like NoMORedTape, become more common, not less so, and I appreciate the public policy dividends NoMORedTape has already realized by engaging the public as it has.

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael
Director of Government Accountability

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.