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Plans to tear down old Cole County jail and sheriff's house move forward April 16, 2014

‘Governmental Accountability’ committee examines all facets of state operations

As he began speaking at last week’s Transportation Conference, Bill McKenna joked that when he first came to Jefferson City as a state representative, he “didn’t like MoDOT very much.”

McKenna later would be a state senator, the Senate’s president pro tem for two years and — after leaving the Legislature because of term limits — a member and chairman of the Highways and Transportation Commission.

“What I learned, probably more while I was on the commission than in the Legislature,” he said, “that politics doesn’t drive decisions there.

“It’s driven by need and economic opportunities ... which I don’t think is the case with states that are not run by independent commissions.”

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Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah — and a former House Budget chairman — told colleagues on the new “Governmental Accountability” Committee last Wednesday: “We, essentially, have two departments — the Department of Transportation and Conservation — that really don’t have much accountability back to the Legislature or the executive branch.

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