How Regulators Quietly Drive Up Costs

California political observers are understandably fixated on the goings-on in the state legislature, which is the living embodiment of what New York Judge Gideon Tucker wrote in an 1866 ruling: “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” Reporters and commentators also focus on major legal cases, which can at times pose an even greater danger to our liberty and property.

But unless they do something particularly egregious, the state’s myriad regulatory agencies rarely get much notice. Sure, the little-known California Agricultural Labor Relations Board became the subject of much debate recently after its union-friendly officials refused to count the ballots of farm workers who were trying to decertify a union. That was the exception that proved the rule. How often are “rulemakings” the subject of public debate?

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