Tuesday, July 15, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Nikki Haley recently touted the regulatory task force she created last year issued more than 3,000 recommendations on how to cut bureaucratic red tape that can cost businesses time and money, and all those recommendations were "dealt with."
In reality, the task force made fewer than 50 recommendations last November. The 3,100 number was an estimate for existing regulations at 22 agencies. Many rules recommended to be tossed remain in place, though Haley says the work continues.
Haley's office says her staff met with agency officials and legislators about the panel's recommendations and developed her own list.
Her Cabinet agencies carried out 23 policy changes. One of her 12 legislative suggestions made it into law. Agency boards have so far adopted seven of her 25 suggested changes.
So far, 31 of Haley's 60 suggestions stemming from that review have been adopted.
State boards at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) have:
--Eliminated the annual physical requirement for mixed martial arts contestants, considered duplicative. Instead, only a prefight physical is required.
--Amended the requirement that a knocked-out contestant must be examined. Instead, a neurologist can decide whether an examination is necessary based on the contestant's symptoms.
--Revised the requirement for clubs so that contracts from boxers and managers must be submitted only upon request.
--Allowed licensed cosmetologists to carry over the number of required continuing education hours to the next renewal cycle. Licensees must complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years. The Board of Cosmetology is considering reducing that number, as per a separate recommendation.
--Repealed the requirement that cosmetologists' attire be "clean and appropriate at all times." The task force said that matter is better addressed between an employee and employer and ultimately customers.
--Allowed long-term care facilities to be located up to 45 miles apart and still be overseen by the same person, up from 20 miles, and deleted the requirement that the two be located within the same ZIP code.
--Combined the cost and review of licenses issued by the Manufactured Housing Board, so that people seeking multiple licenses will save time and pay less overall. Under the board's example, someone seeking licenses as a retail dealer, installer and repairer would pay $180, rather than $300 ($100 for each).
The Legislature passed one of Haley's 12 suggested changes to state law:
--Removed the requirement that LLR approve the building plan for a modular home, giving that responsibility to an approved inspection agency.
Haley's Cabinet agencies implemented 23 policy directives. That list includes the following:
--Allow businesses to file appeals for former workers seeking unemployment benefits online.
--Continue improving the online website for South Carolina Business One Stop, to make it easier for businesses to use.
--Centralize the review of Medicaid policies.
--Improve relations with major Medicaid providers by having regional account managers provide individual attention.
--Educate insurers on how to avoid inaccurate filings through workshops held by the Department of Insurance.
--Explore a system that electronically notifies insurers of filing actions.
--Add more information on the Department of Revenue website about the options for collection procedures.
--Allow child-care businesses to use hand sanitizer on playgrounds as an alternative to soap and water stations.
--Allow child-care businesses to re-use nap mats.
--Clarify that child-care businesses don't have to space nap mats 3 feet apart.
Source: South Carolina governor's office
(Copyright 2014. The Associated Press.)