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At the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott presented a number of regulatory reforms designed to increase economic competitiveness. Each must be acted upon by lawmakers.

For example, Abbott said the oil and gas boom from the Eagle Ford Shale and other areas has heavily bolstered the economy in the Lone Star state, but he argued that bureaucracy has gotten in the way.

Abbott said efforts must be made to “reign in a regulatory environment that is beginning to expand its tentacles far and wide.” He also said the current backlog in permitting has pushed some producers to look elsewhere, namely across the Sabine River in Louisiana where reform passed by their state government has reduced red tape and wait times.

Calling for reform in speeding up the permitting process, Abbott said, “Texas should never lose another job because of a permitting process.”

Abbott also wants to scrap licensing requirements he deems “ridiculous and unnecessary.”

“Overregulation by licensing results in less competition, less choices and higher costs,” said Abbott.

“Licensing doctors makes sense, but why do we need a license for a junk dealer or a shampoo apprentice?” asked Abbott. “Those are the kinds of things you see in California, not Texas.”

Abbott also addressed what he described as a growing “patchwork quilt of bans and regulations that is eroding the Texas model.”

Specifically, he labeled the fracking ban in Denton and tree removal regulations in Dallas as laws that infringe on the property rights of Texans. In calling for reform, Abbott said, “Individual liberties are not bound by city limit signs.”