Commission On Government Reform Seeks To Streamline State Business
Yesterday was the fifth full meeting of the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform. Craig Carper reports.
The 31-member bi-partisan commission has been volunteering their time over the past six months searching for ways to streamline how state government does business.
Speaker of the House Bill Howell is Vice-Chair of the Commission. He says, unlike other reform commissions in the past, this one will be ongoing and continue throughout the McDonnell administration.
Howell: The first year we’ve kinda been looking at low-hanging fruit, the easier things to look for, and we’ve picked up some of that, and it’s amazing, it’s intuitive the amount of savings that you can make through reducing redundancy, reducing duplication.
Howell says many of the proposals will call for consolidating or eliminating state agencies. Also on the table are increasing the use of videoconferencing to reduce travel expenses and finding ways to encourage more state workers to use high-deductible health care plans.
Last month, the group gave approval to send the Governor’s plan to privatize the state’s ABC stores to the General Assembly. Governor McDonnell intended to call a special session to address the issue, but has since decided to wait until the regular session in January, due to bipartisan opposition to the plan.
The Commission is scheduled to deliver their final recommendations by December 1st. Many of those recommendations can be implemented by the Governor immediately, while others will require legislative approval.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square