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Hickenlooper Outlines Colorado Business Regulation Goals

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Gov. John Hickenlooper (credit: CBS)

Gov. John Hickenlooper (credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper unveiled recommendations Monday he said would eliminate duplicative and outdated regulations on businesses.

The Democrat harkened back to his days as a restaurateur, saying excessive paperwork and confusing rules distract and block business owners from focusing on growing their enterprises.

“A real part of this is not just making government more efficient but genuinely, authentically trying to make government a partner with businesses,” he said.

Business leaders around the state provide feedback during the last year on what government regulations are inefficient or burdensome for a report titled “Pits and Peeves.” According to the report, businesses want the state agencies to look at regulatory delays and to coordinate better with federal agencies to avoid conflicting or inconsistent requirements. Businesses leaders also said they want periodic reviews of agency rules to gauge their effectiveness.

Department of Regulatory Agencies Executive Director Barbara Kelley said the report has no legislative recommendations and is meant to give state departments direction on what to change.

For example, The Colorado Department of Transportation said it repealed three rules after finding out some are decades out of date. Hickenlooper said one regulation from CDOT cited a statute that had been repealed in 1994.

Hickenlooper acknowledged that it will be difficult to measure successes that come from some of the recommendations, saying that while some are measurable, “probably the majority are not.”

“But the key is to recognize that, it’s like service at a restaurant,” he said. “You can’t always measure the level of service at a restaurant, but you can measure the number of complaints you get. You can also measure the response cards or surveys of whether people feel that they’re well taken care of.”

“I think a lot of those metrics we can do within the community. I suspect that our friends at the chambers of commerce are going to give us specific feedback,” he said.

Hickenlooper has said since taking office last year that easing regulations on businesses is one of his top goals. Republicans have criticized him, saying he has not made enough progress on the issue.

GOP lawmakers plan to introduce several business regulation bills in the legislative session that starts Wednesday.

- By Ivan Moreno, AP Writer

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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