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February 10th, 2011

ATRA, NY Ally Take Aim at Gov. Cuomo’s Proposal for More Lawsuits

In their joint letter to the editor published Feb. 10 in the Wall Street Journal, ATRA president Tiger Joyce and Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York execuitve director Francesca Sommer pointed out the troubling fine print in new Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal.

Tucked in among various belt-tightening job cuts and agency consolidations is the proposed creation of a new Department of Financial Regulation, controlled by a governor-appointed superintendent with ominously broad powers to promulgate new regulations and level lawsuits relating to banking, insurance and consumer protection.

More lawsuits. Just what a nearly bankrupt state, teetering on the Judicial Hellholes edge, needs, right?

And to top it all off, the governor’s new department would cost $6.4 million more than what the three agencies he proposes to consolidate in creating it cost taxpayers last year.  So the few remaining pro-growth lawmakers in Albany, business leaders throughout the state and the voting public would be wise to scrutinize this legislative language and resist its enactment into law.

New York’s Martin Act already imposes onerous regulatory burdens on the financial sector, on which the state relies for about 20% of its tax revenue. New regulatory burdens and more speculative lawsuits will only chase profitable firms to neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut, and that will make New York’s budget woes that much worse.

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