ST. LOUIS — The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) has requested every state department to submit a list of internal policies or any policies that have not been involved in the promulgation process.
The request comes from the JCAR Chairman, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, who said in a letter that the Committee is hoping for the last two year’s worth of policies from each state department by the Sept. 10 deadline.
“One of the things I think we’ve learned over the last year or so — and was highlighted in particular from the [Department of Revenue] issue — was that a lot of the departments in big government are just sort of avoiding the rule-making process in not promulgating rules where they should be,” Schmitt told The Missouri Times. “Whether calling them internal policies or not, being forthcoming is a real problem. The idea of checks and balances comes into play, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Schmitt said the two issues that are examples of issues that should have come to JCAR but didn’t include the DOR document-scanning and the Department of Elementary and Second Education (DESE) shifting around as much as $130 million.
“The number of rules the departments are promulgating has dropped significantly,” Schmitt said. “Maybe that’s a statistical anomaly, but I doubt it.”
Schmitt said that for JCAR, moving forward on this request garnered bipartisan support from members of the Committee. He said “there’s no agenda” other than for the Committee to follow through with its role to maintain transparency for the public, and that’s something everyone supports.
Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Kansas City, seconded Schmitt in saying the backing was bipartisan.
“There’s been some confusion recently on what needs to be promulgated or what should come to the Committee,” LeVota said. “We’re not going after any one department in particular; this is just a general request. My hope is that all departments respond.”
Jay Wunderlich, Director of Governmental Relations for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said he sees no harm in JCAR asking for this information and that MoDOT will hold an internal review — which he said he looks forward to — before they respond.
Schmitt said the Committee will review all of the submitted information when they meet again during the September veto session.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.