In the last Risch Report, I wrote about my interview with Lou Dobbs and how federal regulations are hampering job growth and creation right here in Idaho. I heard from many of you in response, encouraging me to continue the fight against these burdensome regulations. One Idaho company even told me their "biggest competition is government regulations."
Here are more examples of the negative impacts federal regulations are having on businesses in Idaho.
* A 100-year-old yard and garden business in the Boise Valley has developed their own products for sale. When they create a new organic fertilizer or bird seed formula, they have to report to 28 different federal entities to get approval before they can put it on their shelves. Failure to comply will result in the seizure of the product without warning.
* Farmers and ranchers across Idaho are concerned about new rules put forth by the Department of Labor that would prevent young people from helping on the family farm! This has been an age-old tradition and these new rules threaten the next generation of farmers.
* Department of Transportation rules have changed so that any "log book" error, including a clerical or administrative error, is now considered a "driver fatigue" violation. This is misleading and damaging to the company and increases costs customers pay as the trucking and bus companies hire additional staff to monitor log books.
* A south-central Idaho community recently gave up pursuing a federal grant to put up solar-powered street lights in two intersections. The city council withdrew their application after learning that completing the engineering costs for the "bureaucratically-burdened" application would cost $5,000.
* Small lenders throughout the state have been seeking clarification from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) about changes made to lending requirements in 2010. In response, HUD put up more than 500 FAQs (frequently asked questions) on their website to try and guide lenders through the maze. Now HUD is revising the requirements, but still expects lenders to meet the new, confusing conditions.