JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens announced Wednesday the launch of www.NoMORedTape.com, where Missourians can submit recommendations for action to cut government bureaucracy.
The website allows Missourians to directly voice their concerns about regulations: what they mean and how they work. Greitens' press secretary, Parker Briden, said the website allows the state to "shrink" the government.
"That’s what needs to happen in government, the government needs to listen to the people in Missouri and do what’s best for them, not what’s best for lobbyists, not what's best for insiders, but what's best for people in Missouri,” Briden said.
The idea for the website came when a small business owner from Bolivar commented on the state's Facebook page. He complained about a Missouri regulation that required his business to have a land line phone that costs him $1,500 a year. As a result of his post, the Department of Revenue to got rid of the requirement the very next day.
Briden hopes the website yields similar results. It has a simple survey on the front page to comment on "whether Missouri government is making your life better or making it worse in some way," Briden said.
He said there are questions about the impact of regulations and government processes and how the government might be making it hard to do a job.
"We want everyone to go to that website and to really think and think through is there anything we can can do, because our top priority is to make the government smaller and work better for the people,” Briden said.
The government has created a team of red tape cutters from each department that’s ready to review any recommendation that anyone from across the state of Missouri makes, said Mike O'Connell, communications director for Missouri Department of Public Safety.
“There's no bad comment," he said. "Send us whatever your thought is and we're going to look at it. The idea is that these are the rules that control the people’s lives, and people should have a say in how they're written and how clear they are and we're welcome to hear that.”
He said there are some regulation that not even he can understand without the help of an attorney. If he has trouble, he said, the general population would as well.
"So the idea is how can we make it easy for everybody to understand so you don’t have to call an expert or call a lawyer, how can we make it easy to understand so that people can understand it on their own and not have to spend a lot of money and time trying to figure out what it means and how they comply with it,” O'Connell said.
The Department of Public Safety will host a public meeting on Thursday to get suggestions from the public on how to further streamline the department's regulations.
"For too long this place has operated where you need a well-connected lobbyist, you need someone who's an insider, you need someone who knows the right persons whose hands to shake take them out to dinner," Briden said. "We don’t operate that way. We want to hear from every Missourian."