By Mark Lisheron | Texas Watchdog
AUSTIN — Pay attention in this next legislative session to state Rep. Bill Callegari, chairman of the House Government Efficiency and Reform Committee.
The work of the committee almost certainly will be overshadowed, as it is every session, with the high decibel clamoring to spend your tax billions. But what this committee accomplishes by the end of next May is one important measure of how serious your elected officials are about curbing their worst impulses.
Texas, Callegari tells the Austin American-Statesman, is unnecessarily regulated and over-licensed. He has, so far, filed four bills and has plans to file more in a broad salvo against those regulations and licenses.
Callegari, R-Katy, has filed a bill to get rid of the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR tests, for high school students and roll the public education system back to testing methods that have been around for decades, the Statesman reports.
Texas Watchdog has long reported on efforts to repeal state mandated training and fees for such arcane services as eyebrow hair removal and wig refurbishing. Callegari is nettled by licenses for court reporters who use shorthand, timekeepers for boxing matches and shellfish processors, the Statesman says.
Callegari filed two bills, one for reviewing and phasing out silly licensing and one to give leverage for challenges to silly licensing to individuals and non-profit groups like the Institute for Justice that give legal help to people with their regulatory fights.
“When you regulate an occupation, you are expanding government control on how that job is done,” Callegari says. “That’s where the rubber really hits the road as far as government control.”