Hotel California: Million Dollar Sheets on the Taxpayer’s Dime
Ericka Andersen /
The California hotel workers union is pushing a bill that requires all hotel mattresses to have fitted sheets instead of flat sheets. They argue that the heavy lifting required for flat sheets is causing back injuries for workers. The problem is, the regulation comes with a price tag of $30-$50 million dollars charged to the taxpayers, according the California Hotel and Lodging Association.
With a $15 billion dollar deficit, more costly regulations are the last thing the state should be considering. Not only that, but hotel operators say the fitted sheets will need to be replaced more often and require new laundering equipment to wash effectively.
Some argue that even if the regulation bill passes, it will be difficult to enforce. Randi Knott, of the California Hotel and Lodging Association, also noted that “when California’s looking at over a $26 billion budget, you would kind of think that the legislature had other things to worry about.”
In a state where citizens already pay the highest taxes in the country, the regulated sheets are an unnecessary “hidden tax” that can wait until better financial times. Just as America’s national debt has nearly doubled in two years, the country’s “regulatory burden increased at an unprecedented rate” as well, according to Heritage analysts James Gattuso, Diane Katz and Stephen Keene.
America is battling a jobs crisis and increasing regulations only contributes to the problem. According to a study by the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Policy Studies, “reducing the size of the federal regulatory budget by even modest amounts will have significant positive effects on both GDP and private sector growth.”
The same theory can be applied at a state level and California ought wise up.
Update: An earlier version of this post said the state requirement was for flat sheets. The requirement is actually for fitted sheets. This mistake has since been corrected.