COLUMBUS – Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, 12th district, has announced the passage of Senate Bill 329, the State Agency Sunset Review Act, which assures Ohio taxpayers that government agencies aren’t just bureaucracies with a blank check.
Ohio is home to 25 state agencies or cabinet-level departments. From the Department of Corrections to the Department of Natural Resources, these agencies exist to serve taxpayers. In order to make sure each is effectively using its multi-million dollar budget, Faber along with Senator Kris Jordan, R-Ostrander, sponsored the bill which will allow the General Assembly to review an agency’s mission and practices with an eye to improve accountability, transparency, efficiency, and in some cases, even the ongoing operations of the agency all together. The legislation will serve to affirm or align agency policies, practices and mission with the current needs of Ohio and Ohioans.
“We’ve needed this process for some time,” said Faber. “It’s often easy for bureaucracy to quietly grow and lose efficiency. A periodic review will go a long way in not only building transparency and trust in government, but also making sure we don’t create barriers for Ohioans needing services or seeking employment and business opportunities in our state.”
“It is the tendency of government to grow, restrict liberty and reduce opportunities for its citizens,” added Jordan. “This review process will be an effective tool to combat growth and keep state agencies from overstepping their authority.”
The review process will start with the 132nd General Assembly in 2017. Agencies will be required to undergo a review on a rotating year basis so that each agency is examined every four years. Cabinet directors will be required to testify before respective Senate and or House committees, outlining the dollars spent and how these offices serve Ohioans. Should there be questions about an agency’s effectiveness, it can be recommended to sunset at a certain date, with its role being absorbed, merged or changed in an effort to better serve taxpayers.
Ohio is a national leader in this type of state government reform effort, and the passage of SB 329 builds on Faber’s efforts to make government more efficient and transparent for Ohioans.
The bill passed the Senate 22-8 and now moves to the Ohio House for consideration.