Look for Gov. Asa Hutchinson to begin rolling out his state government transformation ideas Wednesday afternoon, though I’d expect more generalities than specifics.

The governor has vowed to reduce some 40 agencies that report to the governor to 20 or so. He’s already said he wants to combine the Correction and Community Correction Departments.

We’ve mentioned previously talk of rolling up Economic Development, Parks and Tourism and Heritage and a Homeland Security department combining police, emergency and related agencies. Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr also has envisioned a vast new megaagency under his command.

Advertisement

Problem: Some agencies are better fits than others. Some have related private foundations. Some have serious private constituencies (think tourism, particularly). All changes will require legislative approval.  Better that the governor, for now, talk to voters about the new lean, mean state government machine he envisions rather than digging into the details and thus invite comparisons with some past government reorganizations that haven’t gone so well.

I’ve already expressed some skepticism about whether reorganization can produce efficiency (save money) without affecting services.

Advertisement

UPDATE: You heard it here first, except it’s a little earlier than I expected. Hutchinson will talk about his “comprehensive plan for the transformation of state government” at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

I’d begin by rooting out the crooks, toughening ethics laws and thinking about jettisoning all the former legislators fattening their pensions on bloated state executive salaries. But that’s me.

Advertisement