A House Committee on Downsizing State Government kicks off a series of hearings throughout the state to get ideas from the public. The committee was created three years ago by then-House Speaker Steve Tilley to gather input on cutting red tape, streamlining government services, and saving the state money.
Chairman Paul Curtman (R-Union) says holding hearings in several places during the interim allows more people to be heard, and gives legislators time to craft meaningful legislation before session begins. The legislature last session passed a bill that reduces the number of stops a person must make to get permits from the Department of Natural Resources, an initiative Governor Nixon outlined in his State of the State Address. Curtman says that’s the type of action his committee is interested in.
The first hearings this week have been held in St. Louis, Poplar Bluff and Cape Girardeau. Curtman says topping the list of concerns expressed by Missourians who attended … tax reform. Hearings continue this week in Springfield, Joplin, Kansas City, St. Joseph, Columbia and Jefferson City.
Go HERE for a list of locations, times and addresses. Curtman says those who cannot attend may call his office and leave a message; he’ll return their call to make sure their ideas are heard.
He says another topic that’s arisen this week is Missourians saying they want to know how the state is spending their tax dollars, and whether there’s a way to measure if it’s spending that money wisely.
He says reducing steps in certain permitting processes have come from previous years’ work, and says efforts continue to create electronic data systems that do away with unnecessary paperwork. Curtman says another priority is to clean up the law books and do away with those that are obsolete.
You can listen in to the hearings on Curtman’s Ustream page HERE.
AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:27)