Category Archives: Regulation

Should animal massage therapists be required to obtain training that doesn’t even require massage therapy?

The Institute for Justice is taking the case of animal massage therapists to Arizona’s courts. Curiously, the state requires training that doesn’t necessarily include message therapy. From IJ:

Massage therapists do not need a medical degree to massage humans, but entrepreneurs who want to massage animals in Arizona must spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend four years of veterinary school where they are not even required to learn massage. The consequences of failing to comply are severe—animal massage therapists face up to six months in jail and fines of $3,500 per violation.

California Cracking Down On Coding Bootcamps For Teaching Coding Without A License

“Learn to code” organizations in California are being threatened by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), a division of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. According to the BPPE, the coding organizations fall under its jurisdiction and are operating illegally without a license. The state says that so long as the organizations move towards compliance they won’t be shut down. However, the far from protecting Californians, this move towards licensing only stifles competition and raises prices for those seeking to educate themselves.

“The intent here may be admirable. There are various scam “post-secondary education” offerings that don’t really provide anyone anything of value and over promise what they’re offering. But coding bootcamps are something else entirely. The various groups are saying they’re interested in complying with whatever regulations are necessary, but are also worried about the cost and the time that it will take for this process to run its course. Bureaucracies aren’t known for their efficiency (or their inexpensiveness).”

Charleston Rickshaw Drivers Barred From Giving Tours

If you want to take a rickshaw tour of Charleston, South Carolina you will be out of luck. According to Charleston’s newspaper, The Post and Courier, undercover police conducted an investigation on the city’s rickshaw drivers for giving tours without a license. One driver was issued a ticket for just over $1000. To give tours in Charleston, individuals must take an exam and study a 500 page training manual. The city licenses horse-drawn carriages and walking tours, but considers rickshaws to be a form of taxi-service. It appears that for the time-being rickshaw rides will continue in silence.

“City officials contend that the crackdown was needed because allowing unregulated tours, even by casual method, would create gridlock and other problems as slower-moving vehicles could bring streets to a standstill when stories get told.”

 

IJ Defending Texas Eyebrow Threaders From Onerous Government Regulation

The Institute for Justice is defending eyebrow threaders from occupational licensing by the state of Texas – licensing that would require the threaders to complete coursework that won’t teach them about eyebrow threading. From the Institute for Justice:

The case began in 2008, when the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation decided that threading—a traditional South Asian practice that uses only cotton thread to remove eyebrow hair by gliding it across the surface of the skin—is the same thing as conventional Western-style cosmetology. The Department issued $2,000 penalties to threaders across the state and ordered them to quit their jobs until they completed coursework in private beauty schools costing between $9,000 and $20,000.

Three threaders and two threading-business owners joined with the Institute for Justice and sued the Department in 2009, arguing that the Texas Constitution prohibits useless and expensive training requirements that do nothing to protect the public. Two lower courts ruled in favor of the Department.

Subsidies, Eminent Domain Lose A Round In Ellisville

The city of Ellisville, Missouri considered subsidizing a Walmart through Tax Increment Financing and the use of eminent domain, but eventually dismissed the idea and passed a resolution limiting what projects eminent domain may be used to promote. From the Newsmagazine Network:

Elected on an anti-tax increment financing platform and a major opponent of the Walmart supercenter that was proposed to replace the Clarkchester Apartment Complex in Ellisville, Paul said renters and apartment dwellers don’t need to worry about a business replacing their homes.

“It is truly an amazing resolution that we passed here tonight,” he said. “If you want to buy and develop property that exists, you can do it on your own dime. I don’t think the city is going to do any more TIFs for a long time.”

HealthCare.gov Contract History

The Project On Government Oversight reports that the government may have failed to adequately review the healthcare.gov contractor’s background:

AMS’s questionable past performance on government contracts should have set off alarms in 2007, when CMS awarded CGI and 15 other companies an umbrella contract allowing them to bid on future CMS projects. In fact, a former CMS official told the Post that AMS’s track record “could well have knocked [CGI Federal] out of the competition, and probably should have.”

Regulatory Recap

The Competitive Enterprise Institute reports that 74 new final regulations were published last week.

  • Last week, 1,953 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 78,681 pages. This year’s Federal Register is already the 5th largest in its 78-year history.
  • At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 79,313 pages, which would be good for fourth all time. The current record is 81,405 pages, set in 2010.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute reports on the regulatory condition every week – next week’s report is sure to be interesting as it will include the last few days of 2013.