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Business Regulation Battle

September 16, 2005
By: Kathryn Buschman
Date: September 16, 2005

State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan, voiced her opposition Thursday to the state review commission's proposal to remove the securities division from the Office of the Secretary of State.

"[It] is an unjustified and unsound proposal that could jeopardize consumer and investor protection for all Missourians," Carnahan said.

The proposal would move several other regulatory bodies that are currently under the Department of Economic Development (DED) to the Department of Insurance, which would then be re-named the Department of Financial Regulation and Professional Registration.

The commission feels that currently the DED is handling too many agencies, causing a distraction from its core goal of economic stimulation and growth in Missouri communities. Transferring some of the financial responsibilities, the commission argues, will allow the department to be more efficient.

Carnahan urged the commission to reject the proposal saying the panel was acting beyond its scope and would make the securities division less effective and would not better serve consumers.

"I strongly disagree that the creation of a new large bureaucracy to regulate securities, banking, and insurance will guarantee better service for Missouri consumers."

Five hours later the commission discussed the issue and voted against the motion to delete the proposal. "This would provide a more efficient state government," said Jerry Hunter - member of the commission. "It is simply a recommendation-it needs legislative action anyways."

The state review commission appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt in January has been working for months to generate proposals in an attempt to make state government more efficient and effective.

Today the commission reviewed more than 100 preliminary proposals that would re-organize and expand many state departments and agencies.

The commission plans to take a final vote on the proposals next Thursday, September 22.

A final report of recommendations is due by the end of the year to the governor and the General Assembly.