Some state lawmakers want to learn about spending practices and purchased land involving three state departments. Representative Craig Redmon (R-Canton) is chairing a committee that will meet Thursday with the Departments of Conservation, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Redmon says lawmakers must be watchdogs when state money is involved.
“In light of what has transpired the last couple years with the state parks situation and land being purchased that the legislature wasn’t aware of completely, I just felt like having these monthly meetings and getting the departments in and looking them in the eye and saying are you purchasing any new land and if so where and get some details on that. That’s really the crux of what we’re trying to accomplish. We’re an appropriations committee and we need to stay on top of the money,” says Redmon.
Some have criticized DNR’s $11 million land purchase in Oregon County, saying they weren’t told beforehand about the buy. The department used money from settlements with lead mining companies to pay for the land. Others supported the agency’s move, saying it will preserve the land for generations to come.
“The old saying about when the cats will play, the mice will play. The cats going to stick around every month and ask these guys if they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing and making sure these land purchases have the scrutiny of the legislature,” says Redmon.
He thinks the departments are being forthcoming when reviewing expenditures and land purchases.
“I think it’s just a matter of us doing our job and staying on top of things,” says Redmon.
The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. at the Missouri capitol.