The Relief Report

A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975.

Issue #26 * September 15, 1995 * David A. Ridenour, Editor

Hill Watch - Regulatory relief initiatives on Capitol Hill

Representatives Young and Pombo Introduce ESA Reform Bill -- Groups Say Bill "Falls Short."

On September 6, Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Richard Pombo (R-CA) unveiled the Endangered Species Conservation and Management Act of 1995 -- a measure designed to correct some of the abuses of the Endangered Species Act. But despite many positive features, the bill falls short of the goals envisioned by the Grassroots ESA Coalition, an alliance of hundreds of grassroots property rights, wise use and concerned citizen groups. "Providing habitat for endangered species should be encouraged, not discouraged, by the ESA," said Ike Sugg of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a member of the coalition. "While the Young-Pombo bill does try to offset the ESA's negative incentives with some positive incentives, this will at best be an expensive way to undo the environmental damage caused by the law's regulations. Why not go the more direct and cheaper route and remove the law's disincentives?" For more information, contact the Competitive Enterprise Institute at (202)331-1010 or the American Land Rights Association at (360)687-3087.

Action Items - What you can do to promote the regulatory relief agenda

Group Urges Calls to Hill in Support of Davis-Bacon Repeal

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is calling on grassroots activists to call Capitol Hill offices in support of H.R. 500, a bill sponsored by Representative Cass Ballenger (R-NC) to repeal Davis-Bacon. The Davis-Bacon Act stipulates that contractors must pay the "prevailing" local wage -- or union wages -- to all employees on federally-funded construction projects. Passed by Congress in 1931, Davis-Bacon was designed to lock black laborers out of public works projects by effectively eliminating all "unskilled" positions from government projects. In 1931, blacks comprised more than half of the "unskilled" construction force in the South and nearly 20% in the North. ABC suggests that grassroots activists pay particular attention to the following House members: Frank Riggs (R-CA), (202)225-3311; Mike Castle (R-DE), (202)225-4165; David McIntosh (R-IN), (202)225-3021; Jan Meyers (R-KS), (202)225-2865; James Talent (R-MO), (202)225-2561; Marge Roukema (R-NJ), (202)225-4465; Steve Gunderson (R-WI), (202)225-5506; and Tom Petri (R-WI), (202)225-2476.

Small Business News Seeking Additional "Regulation Alert" Stories.

There is still time to help the Small Business News, a chain of nine monthly business magazines with combined circulation of 225,000 subscribers, with its "REGULATION ALERT" program. Every month, Small Business News will spotlight one pending regulation about which a large portion of their readers need information. They'll publish a summary, an estimate of the costs and effects of the proposed rule, comments from advocates and opponents, and most important, information about how small business owners can comment on and affect the final rule making. They need suggestions from Relief Report readers -- as Relief Report readers know more about pending regulations than anyone else -- about which rules will have the broadest impact on businesses in general and small business in particular. They may also select other rules for highlighting and would like to award a "Stupid Rule of the Month." Other ideas for the new monthly feature will also be accepted. Their deadline will be the 10th of each month -- thus, October 10 is the next deadline. They can not publish every suggestion, but will attribute all those they do choose. For more information, call William Hoffman, national correspondent for Small Business News at (703)918-4901 or fax your suggestions to (703)918-4905.

New Regulatory "Horror Stories" Needed to Provide Moving Target.

Time, National Journal and a number of other publications have recently taken issue with regulatory "horror stories" used to bolster the cause of regulatory reform. Among the stories targeted for refutation has been the charge that OSHA's Asbestos Standard bans roofers from chewing gum while on the job. According to Paul Starobin of the National Journal in his recent article "Little Shop of Horrors," the gum chewing ban applies only to "asbestos removal workers." But according to the National Roofing Contractors' Association, the rule actually applies to all roofers working in any "regulated areas" -- or 80% of the nation's roofs. We can expect more of this one-sided reporting in the future. One of the most effective ways to combat such biased reporting is to offer new horror stories -- ones for which the anti-regulatory reform lobby hasn't had a chance to gear-up their disinformation campaigns. To this end, The National Center for Public Policy Research has been compiling a "Regulatory Victims'" database and has a staffer working virtually full-time on checking out horror stories. But your help is needed. Please forward any regulatory victim leads you have to Bob Adams of The National Center at (202) 543-4110.

Alliance for America Asks for Calls to Hill and Administration in Opposition to Tree Cutting Ban.

On August 24, U.S. District Judge Carl Muecke issued an injunction on cutting in all eleven of the national forests in Arizona and New Mexico until the effects of such activists on the Mexican Spotted Owl can be fully assessed. The Spotted Owl subspecies has only been conclusively found in one of the eleven forests to be closed. The Alliance for America is urging calls in opposition to the ban to Judge Muecke, (602)514-7101; Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, (202)208-3100; Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, (202)720-2791; the White House, (202)456-1414; and Members of Congress, (202)225-3121. Among the talking points callers should use: 1) It has not proven that this Spotted Owl subspecies even lives in 10 of the 11 forests closed; 2) stopping forest management jeopardizes the health of these overgrown forests and catastrophic fires could result; 3) the communities that rely on the forests can not "wait out" a study period with a complete shut down; and 4) schools rely upon timber receipts from these forests. For more information, contact the Alliance for America at (518)835-6702.

Victims' Corner - Stories of personal tragedy or government folly

Regulation Puts New York in a Tight Squeeze

The New York Transit Authority was sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act by Dwayne "Fishbone" Richardson, a 410-pound subway cleaner, for refusing to give him a promotion. The Transit Authority's reason for denying the promotion? The new position would require Richardson to climb under trains to make repairs -- an impossibility given his 60-inch waist. Source: The American Spectator, July 1995

"Putting People Back Into the Regulatory Equation"

All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to:

The National Center for Public Policy Research * 501 Capitol Ct., N.E. * Washington, D.C. 20002
Tel. (202) 543-4110 * Fax (202)543-5975 * E-mail [email protected]

©1995, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Excerpts may be reprinted provided that original source is credited.


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