In a deliciously ironic example of government inefficiency in action, Ohio has seen attempts to streamline its bloated system of boards stalled as the committee charged with cutting several of the redundant boards has failed to arrange a meeting. Examples of these useless boards include a barber and cosmetology board, optometry board, optical dispensers board, as well as boards for nursing, psychology, pharmacy and respiratory care, despite the existence of a separate medical board.
The Ohio Legislature’s Sunset Review Committee was due to meet by February 5 to decide which of the plethora of boards to cut, publishing a list no more than 60 days after its meeting. However, as of today (September 5) the board has still not met, nor made any recommendations. Watchdog.org found that staff in the speaker’s office could not immediately locate a list of standing committee members. Worse, the person in charge of convening the first meeting is the Chairman, who doesn’t exist yet as they are set to be elected at the very same first meeting. The website did eventually establish a list of the Sunset Review Committee’s members, and spoke to committee members and Senators Kris Jordan, R Ostrander, Capri Cafaro and D Hubbard. All told the site they had not been told when the committee would convene.
This seems a pressing issue in a state where this year’s budget added another five boards and some boards are spending millions. The accountancy board, for example, is set to get a 14.39% increase in its budget in the 2016 fiscal year to $1.4 million. Other boards are strikingly inefficient – the transport board, for example, spends $500,000 on just 100 investigations a year. The board members are anxious to get started but with the committee still not convening, Ohio’s bloated board system rolls on for now.
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