Downsize State Government Hearing
By Mike A. Bozarth
Tax credits and ending duplication of services were the most cited ways citizens suggested to save the Missouri state government money.
The Missouri House Downsizing State Government Committee held a hearing in St. Joseph last Thursday for public input as it looks for ways to make state government smaller and more efficient.
Committee Chair Paul Curtman and Rep. Mike Kelley conducted the meeting at the East Hills Public Library.
Curtman said his goal with the listening tour that was held in several cities around the state is to give the people a voice in what he feels should be an ongoing dialogue concerning government’s roles, responsibilities and organization.
State Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) and Rep. Pat Conway (D-St. Joseph) were both on hand to hear citizens express their thoughts.
Former State Rep. Jim Guest (R-King City) said “we were told we had to spend every dollar.” He said lawmakers need to get away from the belief they had to spend everything they get.
“As government grows, so does duplication,” Guest pointed out. He also criticized federal mandates that commit state funding.
Ellis Cross, a local Tea Party activist, said Missouri should nullify more laws effecting us in this state. He also pointed to the abuse of tax credits.
Former City Council Member Mike Bozarth pointed to an apartment project that used historical tax credits and ended up costing nearly $240,000 per unit as being an example of misused tax credits.
Allison West of Jameson, MO., said she would like to see Missouri scale back parts of federal mandates.
Virginia Wiegum said she was concerned about the recent scandal at the local DMV about undocumented identification being handed out.