Greitens targets boards and commissions with latest executive order

Gov. Eric Greitens signs his first executive order in the Governor's Office Jan. 9, 2017. (Travis Zimpfer/THE MISSOURI TIMES)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ number one goal since taking office has been to reduce government and cut red tape, and his latest executive order is taking aim at the state’s boards and commissions.

And with more than 200 boards and commissions on the books, it’s easy to understand why the governor wants to take a look.

Greitens announced the forming of the task force in an executive order issued Tuesday afternoon, with the purpose of looking into ways that the 221 boards and commissions might be restructured, consolidated, or eliminated in order to save taxpayer dollars and reduce the size of government.

“Government is too big, too slow, and works too poorly,” Greitens said in a statement Tuesday. “This task force will shrink government and make it work better for the people.”

To do that, the task force will evaluate each board and commission’s purpose and identify the need for it, while also determining the cost-effectiveness of each.

The committee will be made up of 12 members: six members appointed by the governor, three appointed by the Senate President Pro Tem, and three by the House Speaker.

Greitens’ press secretary Parker Briden confirms that the task force members will be unpaid.

Two of the members appointed by Gov. Greitens will be the Director of the Boards and Commissions and Lt. Gov Mike Parson, who will serve as co-chairs of the task force.

The task force will be required to put together their proposals and submit them by October 31, 2017.

The move has been applauded by some, including the Women’s Foundation, who released the following statement:

“We commend Governor Greitens for recognizing that unnecessary government regulations in the form of professional licensing requirements can sometimes limit access to economic opportunities. Women’s Foundation research has shown that these requirements can be especially harmful to women entrepreneurs and small business owners. We look forward to working with the Governor and this new task force on reforms that remove barriers for women entrepreneurs and increase opportunities for women to serve on boards and commissions.”

A similar committee already exists in the Missouri House Subcommittee on Boards and Commissions, which was created for the purpose of reducing bureaucratic groups. Greitens’ predecessor, former Gov. Jay Nixon, also used an executive order to eliminate a number of boards back in 2010.

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