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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

“The high cost of overregulation”

ALBANY, Jan. 13, 2019 -- In his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo called for the establishment of a joint commission to kick-start a comprehensive, statewide regulatory reform initiative with the stated goal of comprehensively and significantly reducing New York’s regulatory burden.

Unfortunately, the governor has never pursued this goal with any gusto.

Beginning in 2014, State Senate Republicans undertook a comprehensive regulatory reform initiative that identified more than 2,000 specific state rules, regulations, and practices that put New York’s businesses and manufacturers, large and small, and other industry sectors at a competitive disadvantage.

The foundation of our reform effort was a series of public regulatory forums, held statewide, that focused on agriculture, construction, small business, tourism and, in a hearing I hosted in Corning, upstate manufacturing. At the Corning hearing, we heard testimony from representatives of several prominent Southern Tier manufacturers, including Corning Incorporated, Dresser-Rand, Nucor, and F.M. Howell & Company, as well as leading economic development agencies including Southern Tier Economic Growth (STEG) and the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency.

The testimony from these leading Southern Tier manufacturers and economic development leaders reaffirmed the absolute importance of revitalizing the manufacturing sector as the key to turning around the upstate economy. We received some straightforward and valuable input on why New York State continues to be overregulated, overtaxed, and a tough place to do business, and steps we can take to change it.

This important work still needs to move forward. In fact, our forum process helped identify 2,219 specific regulatory burdens. A subsequent Senate report, “Cutting Red Tape to Create Jobs,” noted that while it is difficult putting an exact price tag on the economic cost of New York’s more than 750,000 regulations, studies have gauged the negative economic impact of government overregulation. A study commissioned by the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, for example, found the total impact of federal regulations on the U.S. economy in 2008 was $1.75 trillion -- over 12% of the economy. More directly comparable to New York, a 2009 study found that regulations in California -- a state with a similarly burdensome regulatory structure -- cost the Golden State’s economy $493 billion annually and resulted in a loss of 3.8 million jobs.

My recent appointment as the Senate Republican representative on the Legislature’s Administrative Regulations Review Commission (ARRC) will offer the opportunity to continue providing direct input into the Legislature’s regulatory reform responsibility. The ARRC is a legislative oversight committee charged with monitoring the state’s regulatory process and, specifically, with reviewing proposed state rules and regulations to assess their economic impact, as well as their effect on local governments, businesses and industries, and all other regulated parties. The ARRC is also responsible for ensuring that rules and regulations comply with legislative intent.

It’s a responsibility I have tried to prioritize throughout my time in the Senate, consistently pointing to overregulation as one of the key roadblocks to sustained economic growth and job creation throughout the upstate region. The ARRC can have an impact on creating a more business friendly climate in New York State by encouraging lower taxes, fewer mandates, and less regulation. It can help inject some common sense, fairness, and, maybe most importantly, restraint on state regulatory agencies. We need to keep working against a regulatory climate that puts our businesses and manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage, strangles local economies and investment, and encourages higher taxes, outrageous mandates, and burdensome overregulation.

State government must stay focused on the most important job at hand: turning around the upstate economy. We know that we need to cut taxes. We also know that upstate manufacturers, small businesses, and industries across the board are overburdened with far too many unnecessary state regulations.

It’s time to get rid of the costly red tape that keeps the upstate economy going nowhere and makes New York’s business climate one of the worst in America.

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara

Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Jim Howell, Michael Lausell, Van Harp

Bottom row: Carl Blowers, David Reed, Phil Barnes, Mark Rondinaro


Legislature Chairman

Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687

Legislature Members:

Carl Blowers

Van Harp

Jim Howell

David M. Reed

Michael Lausell

Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen, 481-0482

Mark Rondinaro

County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133

Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222

Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222

County Treasurer: Harriett Vickio, 535-8181

District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383


State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County

Sen. Charles E. Schumer

United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax: 202-228-3027
Email Address:

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4451

State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)

Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano-- Steuben, Schuyler, Yates
Room 723, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5791


© The Odessa File 2017
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869