‘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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