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Proposed Bill Would Limit Gubernatorial Appointment Abilities

A bill that would place limitations on the governor’s ability to appoint and remove people to state boards is closer to becoming a law.

The Senate Government Reform Committee passed a bill Wednesday morning that would give more power to the Senate when it comes to gubernatorial appointments to state boards and commissions. This bill comes after accusations from lawmakers that Gov. Eric Greitens stacked the board of education in his favor late last year.

Under this legislation, the governor is required to notify the Senate of any appointments when session is not underway. It also bars the governor from rescinding an appointee unless approved by the senate or making any temporary appointments if a vacancy arises when the senate is not in session.

Senators in the committee debated the bill for almost twenty minutes, with a few senators expressing concern on whether or not the bill goes too far.

Sen. Caleb Rowden, the chair of the committee, stated he believes the bill represents the Senate standing up for itself.

 “This is about fifty years from now, with different personalities and maybe different majorities and different individuals, how we ensure that the separation of powers and the way that our system of government was designed,” Rowden said. 

Rowden stated during the meeting that the governor’s staff is currently “tight-lipped” on their opinions on the bill.

Sen. John Rizzo spoke in favor in passing it out of committee, stating that the conversation needed to move to the entire senate.

 “The conversation between us in this room doesn’t get the point across of what I would consider possibly being a little disrespected time and time again when it comes to these appointments and waiting for us to leave in May, only to be gamed again,” Rizzo said.

The bill passed with a vote of 5-2, with Senators Ed Emery and Brian Munzlinger voting in opposition. It will next be debated in the entire Senate.