Letter to the Editor: Beware of rogue painters

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

I do not typically agree with 23A Representative Bennett’s positions. Her criticism of proposed bill HF3633/SF3554 is an exception. I can understand regulating brain surgeons and even Professional Engineers. But painters? This proposed bill would establish a new Paint Contractor Board to regulate and license painters and also restrict the sale of paint. This bill would have required Tom Sawyer to have a paint contractor’s license. The bill requires licenses for “persons engaged in paint contract labor.”  This would require your kids or grandkids to get a license to paint a neighbor’s garage. I am not making this up. 

The burden of this new regulation would also fall on hardware stores and other paint sellers that already have more than enough rules to follow.

Besides the original language of the bill, if it should become law, the new Paint Board and their dedicated staff would then be free to interpret the new law and write the rules and regulations (and set the fees) that painters and the rest of us would have to follow and add to our costs.   

Email newsletter signup

Like other agencies, future Paint Boards have the power to update the rules to correct a problem that they imagine needs to be addressed. The rest of us will be ensnared in more rules. Minnesota’s regulatory process is not meant to make life easier for us, it is rigged to make life more burdensome.

We need to eliminate regulations that are duplicative, unneeded, outdated and meant to reduce competition.

The Minnesota regulatory process is deliberately designed to continually add rules and regulations, not to eliminate them. The different agencies of the State create and revise their own rules and regulations. They go through the required process of hearings that solicit and review comments from the public. They may make some minor adjustments to give the impression that they are listening. At the end of the day, they write the rules they want without meaningful oversight. There is currently no genuine process to eliminate unnecessary regulations.

Relieving the regulatory burden and costs for business and consumers should be a goal of both political parties. It is time to transform the regulatory system that is raising costs and driving Minnesotans bonkers.

Joe Pacovsky

Hayward, MN