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Blunt commission examines state agencies

March 8, 2005
By: Tim Carnahan
State Capital Bureau

In an effort to squeeze more money from Missouri government, Governor Matt Blunt has formed a commission to reduce state bureaucracy. Tim Carnahan has more from the state Capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Governor Blunt instructed the commission to examine and eliminate waste in all state government agencies.

Blunt says he is open to major changes.

Actuality:BLUNTSC
RunTime: 15secs
OutCue: "...our resources and state dollars."


Contents: "There are no sacred cows in your discussions, and we need to look at every aspect of our state government to determine how to best manage our resources and state dollars.

State agencies and services could be consolidated, or restructered.

Blunt made a bid to reduce the cost of state government in his State of the State address, when he called for the elimination of over 1,000 state jobs.

You can have your say about the possible changes during statewide meetings planned for this summer.

The commission is scheduled to submit recommended changes to the governor by January of 2006.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Carnahan.

###TDC###

Governor Blunt's commission to restructure state government could lead to more government job cuts. Tim Carnahan has more from the state Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

Blunt instructed the commission to review all state agencies to find ways to lower costs like consolidating or reducing services, and eliminating positions.

The reduction of state services, combined with Blunt's proposal to cut 1,000 state jobs and Missouri's Medicaid rolls, are part of Blunt's plan to balance the budget without breaking his pledge to not raise taxes.

But, even though he supports Blunt's cuts, Republican Senator John Griesheimer says a tax increase might be inevitable.

Actuality:GRSHMR2
RunTime: 8secs
OutCue: "...keep going like this."
Contents: "The taxpayers are going to have to realize that there's going to have to be a tax increase somehwere. I don't see how we can keep going like this."

The Missouri constitution requires voters to approve tax increases that would create more than a certain percentage of total state revenue.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Carnahan.

###TDC###

Governor Matt Blunt says reorganizing state services could actually save the state money. Tim Carnahan has more from the state Capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Blunt has asked a group of Missouri business leaders, citizens, former state employees, and the Lieutenant Governor to review how state agencies are organized.

Blunt says the commission could recommend cutting state services, consolidating agencies, and eliminating positions.

Blunt's plan to reduce state services, combined with his proposal to cut state jobs and the Medicaid rolls, are part of his plan to balance Missouri's budget without raising taxes.

Actuality:BLUNTSC2
RunTime: 12secs
OutCue: "...with current revenue."
Contents: The old way of doing things was, whenever we didn't have revenue we asked taxpayers to pay more to their state government. That's the old way. The new way is that we're going to get spending under control and bring it in line with current revenue."

But, not everyone in Blunt's party supports his position on tax increases.

While suppportive of Blunt's proposed cuts, Republican Senator John Griesheimer has said tax increases might be necessary to solve Missouri's budget woes.

Actuality:GRSHMR2
RunTime: 8secs
OutCue: "...keep going like this."
Contents: The taxpayers have to realize that there's going to have to be a tax increase somewhere. I don't see how we can keep going like this."

The Missouri Constitution requires voter approval of any tax increases that would create over a certain amount of state revenue.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Carnahan.

###TDC###

Governor Matt Blunt says reorganizing state services could actually save the state money. Tim Carnahan has more from the state Capitol.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Blunt has asked a group of Missouri business leaders, citizens, former state employees, and the Lieutenant Governor to review how state agencies are organized.

Blunt says the commission could recommend cutting state services, consolidating agencies, and eliminating positions.

Saint Louis Democrat Maida Coleman, the Senate Minority Leader, says she supports reviewing the services, as long as it's not an excuse for cutting jobs.

Actuality:COLEMAN1
RunTime: 13secs
OutCue: "...fire people and state employees."
Contents: "Streamlining of services can be quite successful as long as we're not looking at this as an excuse to fire people and state employees."

Blunt's plan to reduce state services, combined with his proposal to cut state jobs and the Medicaid rolls, are part of his plan to balance Missouri's budget without raising taxes.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Carnahan.