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Greitens creates small-government task force, says won't cost Missouri extra money

File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:45 p.m. with Greitens' office comment Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has set up a task force that’s meant to examine which of the state’s hundreds of boards and commissions are necessary and which ones are not.

The Republican governor’s staff said in a news release Tuesday that Greitens’ executive order is meant to “shrink government.”

“This task force will evaluate the purpose and results of each existing board and commission in the state,” the statement said.

Greitens spokesman Parker Briden said the task force will have 12 unpaid members, six of whom will be appointed by the governor. The co-chairs will be Lt. Gov. Mike Parson and the state's Director of Boards and Commissions.  Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard and House Speaker Todd Richardson will appoint three members each. 

The panel's review is not expected to cost any additional state money, Briden said, adding that some boards and commissions will be recommended to be cut entirely and others may be combined. 

Many previous governors have complained about the number of such panels. Former Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, came under fire from legislators for failing to fill many of his appointments to some of the more obscure ones.

“Government is too big, too slow, and works too poorly. This task force will shrink government and make it work better for the people,” Greitens said in the statement from his office.

But many of the state’s boards and commissions were established by the Missouri General Assembly, which would then have to approval their elimination. Nixon had sought in 2010 to get rid of some of the panels, but it's unclear if legislators took any action.
The task force is to submit its recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly by October 31.

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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