Fung Proposes Reform of Business Regulation for Rapid Service

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


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Cranston Mayor and Republican candidate for Governor, Allan Fung, renewed and expanded upon his call last week to streamline state regulations to allow businesses to grow and create jobs.  Today Fung proposed a measure to rapidly respond to applications for licenses and permits for businesses in Rhode Island, in addition to a temporary moratorium on new state government regulation, should he be elected governor.

“I have a two-part plan to reduce the burden of state regulation on Rhode Island businesses, which will help existing companies succeed, while also attracting new business to our state,” commented Fung in a press release on Tuesday.  “As Mayor of Cranston, I helped local businesses navigate the licensure and permitting process from beginning to end… By streamlining regulation and requiring timely responses, we can promote better communication with applicants to help create thousands of new jobs statewide.”

Fung has also pledged to issue an executive order temporarily halting the issuance of new regulations from executive branch departments and agencies of state government.  The moratorium is intended to provide an opportunity for individual agencies, as well as the Rhode Island Office of Regulatory Reform, to assess current regulations and their impact on business.

“We need real reform to help businesses get their door open quickly so they can put more Rhode Islanders to work,” said Fung.  “There are more than sixteen hundred state regulations that impact Rhode Island business and it is imperative to limit the cost of compliance to encourage companies to succeed.” 

The Case of Pentec

Fung referred to the case of Pentec, a company that sought approval to provide specialized, in-home nursing services in Rhode Island, but later withdrew its application after reportedly waiting seven months and spending $100,000 without receiving a final response to its application.  Fung’s proposal is similar to provisions, which already are in force in several states, providing for approval of applications for rate increases and applications for certain business permits unless they have been denied within a specified time period.  Fung’s proposal would be subject to exceptions for regulations related to the protection of public health and safety and regulations that are the subject of a court order or federal law that would result in sanctions for failure to enforce.

“Rhode Island has developed a reputation for being unfriendly to businesses, which is a reputation that we simply can’t afford,” said Fung.  “With an unemployment rate that is the highest in the nation, we need to make a commitment to fundamental change in our state… As Governor, I will institute real changes to make Rhode Island ‘Open for Business’ once again.”


Related Slideshow: 10 Questions Fung Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI

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10) Can Fung raise the money necessary to be competitive?

At the last reporting period, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's campaign had only $336,000.


Ken Block had $540,000 and he just entered the race.  


Democrat Gina Raimondo has over $2.3 million and even Angel Taveras has $759,000 cash on hand.

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9) Is Fung ready for prime time?

Fung is well-liked in Cranston and most everyone thinks Fung is a "nice guy."


Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras can claim they took on tough issues.


Ken Block articulates big ideas and a proven record in business, but out of the gate Fung's campaign seems less than ready.


Fung's campaign manager got confused about how many Democrats Fung has  donated to and his motivation for donating to them. 


Would another four years in Cranston be the wiser path?

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8) Can Fung effectively run against Angel Taveras?

Fung claims Providence Mayor Angel Taveras as a close friend, but it raises questions about inherent personal conflicts and ability to run and effective race.


Politics in Rhode Island is often a blood sport, will Fung approve that knockout punch TV spot in the closing weeks that tags Taveras for the spiraling crime problem in Providence?

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7) Is Fung's base big enough?

For Mayor Fung, his base is Cranston, but he does not enjoy a groundswell of Hispanic voters like Providence Mayor Angel Taveras hopes to bank on (7% of the voters were Hispanic in the General Election in 2012, according to Pew Research).


A race against Raimondo would be tough as she would very likely have a strong block of female voters.


Where does Fung get his votes?

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6) Can Fung defend the tax increases in Cranston?

When Fung runs as a Republican against a Democrat, there is an advantage if Fung can point out a differentiation of fiscal discipline. Fung, as Mayor, had numerous and significant residential and commercial tax increases.


This will not help him against the fiscally prudent Ken Block, but even if he were to win the primary then he would lose the advantage against Angel Taveras in a General Election. Both have ushered large tax increases through their councils.

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5) Why pledge to create "20,000 jobs"? It sounds like Don Carcieri.

Don't know if Fung was paying attention, but GOP Governor Don Carcieri ran on...creating 20,000 new jobs. 


When Carcieri left office, Rhode Island had the worst unemployment in America. Not sure Fung wants to mirror that Carcieri pledge.

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4) Defending Don Carcieri and making him a part of the campaign - is that a good idea?

The collapse of 38 Studios has scarred Don Carcieri's legacy as Governor of Rhode Island. At best, Carcieri was star struck to give a baseball player $75 million -- at worse, Carcieri was part of something far more ominous.


For Fung, who wants to run as the future of Rhode Island, why be associated with Don Carcieri?

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3) Defending the lobbyist role?

In 2014, do we think Rhode Islanders will be looking for a former lobbyist for a large corporation that is cutting Rhode Islander's jobs to be our next Governor?


Lobbyist-turned-Governor will be tougher to pull off than actor Ronald Reagan-turned-Governor of California in the 1960's.

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2) Understand the changing position on gay marriage?

Hard to know what Allan Fung's position is on gay marriage. At different times he offered a range of views.


Some GOP primary voters have been opposed to the RI law and others were supportive, but neither segment of the GOP may understand what his position was -- or is.  

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1) Political donations to local, federal and national Democrats - are you sure you are a Republican?

Fung has given to David Cicilline, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, former RI Senate President Bill Irons and once RI Attorney General Patrick Lynch. Fung's campaign manager claims he was a lobbyist and needed to donate to Democratic leaders.  Cicilline, Reid and Lynch meet none of those criteria.  


Not only did Fung give thousands of his own dollars to Dems, he turned down requests from leading GOP candidates like John Robitalle and Jon Loughlin who were badly outspent and needed every dollar to win.


The Republican party in Rhode Island is a pretty small group trying to create a pretty big tent - from Scott Avedisian to Doreen Costa. For most Republicans in this state it is tough -- you don't enjoy the political connections and you're part of a tiny minority -- so loyalty matters.


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