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Douglas plans to abolish 55 boards, commissions

Gov. Jim Douglas this week released his recommendation to abolish 55 state boards and commissions and modify six others. The governor's proposal would streamline bureaucracy and allow state workers to focus more time on their core duties.

"Regardless of our fiscal situation, we must always look for ways to make state government more efficient and save taxpayer money," said Douglas. "This is an important effort to modernize state government making it sustainable for the years to come."

The recommendations are part of the administration's Tiger Team response to the projected $150 million shortfall in the FY 2011 budget. The team led the effort to take a fresh look the 300 state boards and commissions.

The Tiger Team found many boards and commissions have been inactive for years, while others have overlapping missions and functions.

The governor's proposal calls for the abolishment of 45 boards and commissions through statute and 10 through executive order.

Six other boards will be modified and otherwise consolidated. Some of the proposals will be difficult and meet resistance, but with such daunting fiscal challenges we cannot maintain the status quo, the governor remarked.

These recommendations represent a combined Vermont General and Special Fund savings of nearly $700,000. Of this amount, $171,000 was included in the governor's FY 2011 recommended budget. Additional administrative savings from not staffing and servicing these boards and commissions will be realized by agencies and departments.

The administration's Director of Budget Operations Otto Trautz briefed the recommendations to the House Government Operations committee this morning.

"I want to thank Otto for his tremendous leadership and hard work, and that of his Tiger Team, in identifying opportunities to streamline state government, noted Douglas. "I also want to thank the Vermont House Government Operations committee for their continued interest and collaboration on this important work."

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