Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fighting the Status Quo with Government Reform (State Rep. Dick Adams)

Do you know how your tax dollars are being spent? According to a recent Gallup Poll, Americans believe that about 50 cents of every tax dollar are wasted. With their paychecks being squandered on a growing government, hardworking families are demanding greater transparency from their elected officials in both Washington and Columbus.

Here in Ohio, more than 120,000 jobs were lost in 2009 alone, but instead of confronting “business as usual” by improving our tax environment and controlling government waste, the Legislature raised income taxes by 4.2 percent retroactive to January 2009, imposed more than 150 new fines, fees and penalties, and increased spending by $1 billion at a time when spending should be reduced.

To save tax dollars and streamline state government, I worked to help develop the “Future of Ohio” Government Reform Package, which aims to make state government work more efficiently by reducing the waste and duplication in the provision of state services.

One of our government reform bills is House Bill 25, which would restructure Ohio’s cabinet-level departments into 11 agencies based on similar core missions. Currently, our state has 24 cabinet-level departments and more than 300 boards and task forces. Compared with only 15 federal government departments, it is clear that we can—and should—restructure our agencies to create a leaner and more effective state government.

When enacted, House Bill 25 would analyze each funding item and ensure that our government is efficient and accountable to the taxpayers, while improving the services that Ohioans need and rely on. I cosponsored this initiative because it has the potential to save the taxpayers more than $1 billion annually by keeping state government cost-effective.

I also cosponsored House Bill 66 to help trim down government waste by creating a venue through which to identify wasteful projects and establish cost-saving measures. This bill would create a state commission similar to Ronald Reagan’s Grace Commission of 1982 to investigate waste and inefficiency. This legislation is especially important in Ohio considering the growth of state government programs and spending.

As “The People’s House,” the Ohio House should permit these and other reform ideas to receive fair consideration in committee. Although House Bills 25 and 66 have stalled in committee, I am hopeful that the House will explore these cost-saving opportunities in the coming months. After all, government accountability and fiscal discipline are concepts that we should all be able to support for the benefit of Ohio’s future.

[Richard Adams is the representative for Ohio's 79th House District, which includes all of Miami County and several townships within Darke County.]


  1. I wonder if Mr. Adams will be looking into some of this township trustee healthcare. I have heard that some of this is costing upwards $10,000 a year per trustee. My roads don't get fixed, but money can be put on township or township employees health insurance.

  2. I don’t know what it cost for the trustee’s but I think even worse that paying for it while they are a trustee, if they are there for 2 or maybe 4 terms, I believe they get it from then on, after they retire or loose the election. I think that is the big draw card for being a trustee…


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