Boards and commissions next up on chopping block

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s executive branch is continuing their mission to cut red tape and reduce government, and this time around, their sights are set on the state’s boards and commissions.

The Boards and Commissions Task Force, co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Mike Parson and Scott Turk, the Director of Boards and Commissions, was created through Gov. Eric Greitens’ Executive Order 17-11. Their task is to look into the need for each existing board or commission and determine their cost-effectiveness while also identifying ways to reduce or eliminate the size and structure of each body.

Parson

“With over 200 government boards and commissions and in excess of 1,500 appointments, we are glad to be working to identify what works, what doesn’t, and ensure our state boards and commissions are efficiently working for the people of our state,” Parson said.

With a total of 221 boards and commissions working in the Show-Me State, it’s pretty easy to see why they’re next on the list for review, as roughly 80 percent of them have an expired term or vacancy to be filled.

In the first meeting of the task force, Lt. Gov. Parson said his hope was to reduce the number of boards and commissions by as much as half the total number, noting that many of them have not met in years or are no longer necessary due to changing laws and issues.

One way the task force seeks to address this issue is by locating commissions or boards that could be combined under one roof, an example of which might be the number of boards under the Department of Public Safety.

And to better understand the functions and need for each board or commission, the task force is hearing testimony from state departments and agencies for input and insight.

“Governor Greitens and I made a commitment to the people of Missouri to streamline government and reduce bureaucracy, and we are fulfilling that promise through the Task Force,” Parson said. “The Task Force has done an excellent job of reviewing several of our state agencies, and we look forward to hearing from the rest at our next meeting. I am grateful to the departments we heard from this week and the work they have done to assist in this important process.”

During the task force’s second meeting in July, the 12-person committee heard testimony from 10 state departments, including the Departments of Agriculture, Corrections, and Higher Education, and is expected to hear from more during its next meeting. The next task force meeting is next week at the Capitol on Aug. 3 and is open to the public.

It’s unclear to what extent taxpayer funds might be saved by eliminating or consolidating boards and commissions, and the actions to do some of that varies. Some may need legislative action to be resolved, while others may simply require an executive order from the Governor.

The task force is expected to submit a proposal to the Governor no later than October 31.