Missouri’s budget crisis has triggered a call for restructuring state government that could lead to the most significant change in structure and financing since the third Little Hoover Commission of the early 1970s.
Senate President Pro tem Charlie Shields of St. Joseph is pushing an effort he called “Rebooting Government.” He outlined the efforts shortly before the Senate recessed this morning.
Missourians going to the state senate web page can click on the icon with that name and submit ideas about ways the make government more efficient and more affordable. Senators will break into a series of four-member committees next Tuesday after morning adjournment and spend the afternoon reviewing citizen recommendations in these areas:
- Agriculture/Outdoors/Department of Natural Resources
- Courts/Legal/Department of Public Service
- General Government/Office of Administration
- Social Programs
- Tax Structure
Shields says he wants each committee to have five ideas at the end of their discussions that will provide a sustainable government for years to come. The meetings will be public but they will not take testimony. Locations of the meetings will be posted on the Senate website under “committee meetings.
Senate floor leader Kevin Engler says the Senate will be working this afternoon and this evening as it tries to pass as many bills as possible before turning to the weighty issues of the budget–soon to be passed by the House and sent to the Senate—and the “Rebooting Government” issues.
The Little Hoover Commission, by the way, was a special state commission set up to realign state government. The report of the third one, which filed its report in 1971 recommending all state boards, commissions, and divisions be lumped under about a dozen state agencies led to a constitutional amendment approved in 1972 and an implementing law approved by the 1973 legislature.
The Original Hoover Commission was a federal effort done by President Truman in 1947 to reorganize the federal administrative branch of government. It was called the Hoover Commission because Truman named former president Herbert Hoover to lead the effort.