State Rep. Fitzpatrick rolls out ModernizeMO Initiative

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Plan invites residents to share ideas to improve state government

In the new year, State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, is rolling up his sleeves and setting out to change a few things for the betterment of the state and daily lives of its residents.

His goals include things like cutting out red tape, bureaucracy, eliminating inefficiencies, stopping unnecessary spending, and reducing government in order to bring 21st Century innovations to the state, improve lives and keep Missouri’s future bright.

To accomplish that goal, he is leaning on the wise old adage, “Two heads are better than one,” and is extending an open invitation to Missouri residents and asking them to let him know what, specifically, they’d like to see changed in state government that would save money and make their lives better, as part of a new initiative and forum he is calling ModernizeMO.

It’s a prime opportunity, Fitzpatrick said, for residents of Missouri to let their voices be heard, which can easily be done by making a call or posting their comments on a website Fitzpatrick has established exclusively for the initiative.

Fitzpatrick, who is the Missouri House Budget Committee chairman, said he is always looking for ways to make the best use of state funds, and the proactive measure came about after related discussions with fellow budget staff members.

“It’s an idea we came up with jointly,” he said. “The purpose is to create a new avenue for citizens to give legislators like myself ideas on how we can improve state government. Some may have an idea, but they if aren’t prompted to submit that idea, they may not do so. It’s an effort to raise awareness that we’re listening and we’re interested in peoples’ ideas to improve state government.

“The growth in federally mandated state spending continues to increase the size of state government and threaten strategic investments in Missouri’s future. It’s time to modernize Missouri state government to do more with less through technology, innovation, and a little more Missouri common sense. I’m inviting all Missourians to join our effort to help Modernize Missouri by submitting their ideas today on how they think we can reduce the size of government and release the potential of our great state.”

Fitzpatrick also encouraged residents to let him know about any state governmental policies that they think are ineffective or even ridiculous, adding that the legislature “wants to know about it.” And, the ideas have been rolling in, Fitzpatrick said.

“We’re getting a spreadsheet of all the ideas together,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of submissions, over 100. We are encouraging people to submit their ideas, and we can put them in the bank and work with them as time goes on and also share them with other legislators that might be able to sponsor ideas who are experts in certain areas.”

Fitzpatrick believes good things will come as a result of the invitation.

“I think it will make a difference,” he said. “I’ve already gotten some good suggestions to save the state money.”

One idea was to combine state government facilities. For instance, consolidating three facilities down to two in state offices. Another idea submitted was saving money by owning buildings versus leasing them for state offices.

Residents can submit their ideas in a number of ways. They can call their legislators, the state capitol, or submit their ideas online on a website exclusively established for the initiative, They can also share their ideas on Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #ModernizeMO.

For more information, people may call Fitzpatrick’s office at 573-751-1488.

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