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Justin Smith, deputy counsel to Gov. Eric Greitens, updates Springfieldians on the “No MO Red Tape” campaign.
SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle
Justin Smith, deputy counsel to Gov. Eric Greitens, updates Springfieldians on the “No MO Red Tape” campaign.

Greitens’ office aims to cut regulations by a third

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It would take an individual 418 hours to read the entire Missouri Code of State Regulations, assuming they spent 40 hours per week reading at a rate of 300 words per minute.

That was the message yesterday from Justin Smith, deputy counsel to Gov. Eric Greitens, who visited Springfield to provide an update on the executive branch’s “No MO Red Tape” campaign. A crowd of businesspeople, including Springfield Underground President Louis Griesemer and retired Care to Learn Executive Director Morey Mechlin, joined the presentation at the Frisco Building, 3253 E. Chestnut Expressway.

“We’re trying to do good government here,” Smith said of efforts to reduce the state’s 113,112 regulations by a third. “We want this to be something that changes the culture.”

Shortly after being sworn in on Jan. 9, Greitens signed an executive order putting a nearly two-month freeze on new regulations and requiring all state government agencies to conduct a review of current regulations on the books. In July, Greitens’ office launched the website NoMORedTape.com for Missourians to submit recommendations.

Since then, Greitens’ “red-tape cutters” have received nearly 6,000 comments, Smith said, calling the website an easy place to send people “who have complained about the government for years.”

Smith pointed to data from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University showing regulations in Missouri are growing at a faster rate than the federal government.

The Mercatus Center found utilities topped the list of industries targeted by Missouri regulations, at 5,970; followed by ambulatory health care services, 4,245; chemical manufacturing, 3,489; mining, except oil and gas, 3,388; and transportation equipment manufacturing, 2,394.

Smith pointed to data indicating the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has 24,370 restrictions, the most of any state agency. The Department of Economic Development is fifth with 7,384 regulations, according to the data.

Greitens’ staff is accepting comments through May 31. Smith said the executive branch also would work with the legislature on long-term solutions.

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