Texas state Rep. Bill Callegari, R-Katy, chair of the state House Government Efficiency and Reform Committee, launched an innovative new tool yesterday to engage citizens to fight onerous regulations and cut wasteful state spending.

The Texas Red Tape Challenge is an interactive website designed to collect recommendations from the public on decreasing burdensome regulations, to promote discussion on workable solutions and to allow users to vote on the most popular ideas. In order to focus the comments on possible legislation, the committee has arranged the subject areas into four categories: occupational licensing, state agency rulemaking, public school mandates and manufacturing in Texas. The first two areas are already live and the latter two will be available soon.

Currently, there are nine occupational licensing industries up for discussion, ranging from auctioneers to athletic trainers. The state agency section boasts topics ranging from public input for rulemaking to the Texas Register. Two citizens have already recommended making lawmakers’ financial disclosures available online and returning geoscientists to the Year 2000 level of regulation.

To submit your own thoughts on how to make Texas government more efficient or vote on others’ proposals, go to www.texasredtapechallenge.com. But don’t dither or delay, because each entry expires and the website only accepts entries until October 2012.

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