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Think Tank Tackles Rules

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New Mexico think tank Rio Grande Foundation is publishing a unique, 21-day report on the state’s regulatory environment and what should be changed, or tossed, to spur economic growth.

Since Jan. 2, the organization has been sending readers who signed up an “Email of the Day,” each addressing a topic in the foundation’s New Mexico Regulatory Reform Study. All installments also can be viewed at www.errorsofenchantment.com.

A basic premise is that New Mexico is overregulated at considerable cost to taxpayers, workers and consumers, and that the situation is holding back the state’s economy. The first installment was titled, “The Dire Need for Regulatory Reform.”

“We spent a lot of time last fall just going through the different regulations, talking to people, getting suggestions,” foundation President Paul Gessing told the Journal. “By no means is it exhaustive, but we feel it is a discussion that needs to be started.

“Some of these, like right to work (which the organization advocates), we’ve already been talking about, but there were some that really surprised me. I had no idea the (state) Supreme Court had significant regulatory powers in terms of who could practice as a lawyer in the state of New Mexico.”

More on that topic – the requirement that attorneys from other states take another bar exam to be admitted in New Mexico – was scheduled to be in today’s email and on the website.

Other topics include “Eliminate Unnecessary Construction Licensing,” “Build for Cost-Effectiveness and Efficiency, Not Arbitrary LEED Certification,” and “Reduce Unnecessary Regulations That Drive Up Cost of Health Care.”

Friday’s Day 16 installment, “End Liquor License Larceny,” addressed state license regulations, which the study says are arbitrary and prohibitively costly to new businesses, and fail to address “problem drinking.”

Gessing said the series will be sent to lawmakers.

“We do believe at least one legislative item will be introduced as a result of this and that involves doing a cost-benefit analysis of regulations,” Gessing said.

Email info@riograndefoundation.org to receive remaining installments.

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