You'd think a stubbornly independent state like Texas would keep cumbersome government regulations off the books.
But you'd be wrong, according to a study that finds that the Texas administrative code is actually among the nation's longest.
Texas has one of the top totals of in-state regulations in America, according to a watchdog group looking for transparency in government.
Texas ranks fourth-worst in its sheer number of regulations -- trailing only New York, Illinois and Ohio, according to the nonpartisan Mercatus Center.
Mercatus researcher James Broughel says they counted more than 226,000 – dictated in nearly 15 million word – of rules in the Texas Administrative Code.
Broughel tells Newsradio 740 KTRH it reflects a continuing trend of adding more and more government controls as instruments to make and steer public policy.
All those Texas rules are in addition to more than one million federal regulations that also govern Texans.
The high ranking is for a state where conservative Republican control the House, Senate and governor's office – and campaign and profess that they’re for fewer restrictions. Instead, Texas trails only New York, Illinois and Ohio for the number of rules it imposes on its residents.
The Mercatus Center says it has researched 22 states so far as part of its ongoing national project.
James Broughel of the Mercatus Center calculates it would take more than 800 hours of nonstop reading to digest them all. That fact may cause indigestion among Texans who are anti-regulation.
It would take an individual about 21 weeks to read the entire Texas Administrative Code (TAC). That’s assuming the reader spends 40 hours per week reading and reads at a rate of 300 words per minute.
“Individuals and businesses in Texas must navigate these different layers of restrictions to remain in compliance,” Mercatus noted in announcing its rankings.