JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Gov. Jay Nixon proposed Friday to cut 31 state boards and 473 appointment positions that he says are redundant or are no longer holding meetings.
The Democratic governor issued executive orders that eliminate 13 boards and cut 227 appointed spots and is urging the Legislature to trim an additional 18 boards and 246 positions. Nixon said reducing the number of state boards would save money and increase efficiency.
"Eliminating ineffective or redundant state boards will give Missourians a government that's more efficient, accountable and responsive."
The boards Nixon targeted cover a range of topics, including plant biotechnology, patient safety, intergovernmental cooperation and the Lewis and Clark bicentennial. The state commissions the governor is urging the Legislature to cut deal with issues such as seed capital investment, head injuries, private investigators, fire safety and elevators.
The boards to be dropped were identified by Nixon's Office of Administration that tried to determine what state boards were truly needed.
For some of the boards that could be cut, Nixon has proposed combining several that cover similar topics. For example the Governor's Council on AIDS was dissolved and its duties were transferred to the HIV/STD Prevention Community Planning Group.
Lawmakers are considering getting rid of the Missouri Fire Education Commission and Missouri Fire Education Trust Fund Board, and giving the Missouri Fire Safety Advisory Board two extra members to handle the extra responsibilities.
Bills to cut down on the state boards are to be filed by Sen. Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, and Rep. Steve Hobbs, R-Mexico. Hobbs said state boards have a tendency to continue even if they are no longer needed and that cutting them back would help agencies be more efficient.
"Quite frankly I didn't realize there were that many boards and commissions out there, and some of them I've never heard of before," he said.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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