Arizona Gov. Ducey: “Stop Shackling Innovation”

Arizona Gov. Ducey: “Stop Shackling Innovation”

March 7, 2016

We live in a rapidly evolving world in which all of us carry in our pockets little computers that allow us to interact in ways never before imagined.  The reason we’ve had this great acceleration in innovation and technology is largely that it all happened too quickly for the regulators to stop it.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying after the fact.


Nothing personifies the governmental regulatory impulse to ruin a good thing like the battles in the emerging sharing economy.  Just as more Americans are enjoying the services of Uber and Airbnb, more out of touch regulators are trying to squelch it.  In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey and the state legislature are taking steps to rein in city and county governments that, despite their good intentions, are just taking away employment opportunities and consumer choices.  From the Arizona Capitol Times:

“We live in a free country and we have a free-market economy. So why are we putting laws out there to stop businesses before they even start?” Ducey said. “Why are we taking regulations that were written decades ago for another industry and applying them to businesses like this?”

Sen. Steve Smith, the bill’s sponsor, used the recent battle over ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft as an example of why SB1524 is needed. After legislation failed that would have exempted the companies from following the same regulations as taxis, the Department of Weights and Measures under then-Gov. Jan Brewer cracked down on them. Ducey subsequently loosened the reins after taking office in January 2015, and claimed he fired the weights and measures director due to overzealous regulation of the ride-sharing industry.

The bill is an outgrowth of Ducey’s well-documented enthusiasm for the sharing economy and his State of the State pledge in January to “stop shackling innovation and instead put the cuffs on out-of-touch regulators.”


It’s great to see that Governor Ducey understands that a changing economy needs a light governmental touch so that innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive.  Hopefully other governors will follow Ducey's lead in expanding job opportunities and innovation in their states.

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