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Lobbyist Money Help  

Rep. Jeff Harris calling for the end of excess spending

February 07, 2005
By: Elizabeth Baird
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The House Democrats called upon Gov. Blunt to stop what they call excess spending Monday.

Rep. Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, called on the Governor to halt renovations on his office that Harris said are costing up to $100,000, a figure disputed by Blunt's staff.

"The Governor has been complaining about excess spending but failed to hold his office to the same standards he places on others," Harris said.

Blunt and his staff are now working out of the Truman building while the governor's office in the Capitol receives new carpeting, paint, and fixtures.

"When the Governor said he was going to remodel state government, I didn't think he meant re-carpeting his offices," Harris said.

A representative for the Governor said that the renovations were in response to serious health concerns about mold.

"This was an absolute necessity," said Spokesman Paul Sloca. "The office of administration, not the governor, decided these measures were necessary."

Sloca also said that the $100,000 number was inflated. He said the remodeling costs would only cost $25,000.

A spokesperson from the office of administration said the renovation measures were in response to normal wear and tear the office receives, which hasn't been done in 12 years.

Other issues addressed were Missouri fee offices, which Harris said should be selected through a competitive bidding process, instead of the current method of gubernatorial appointment. Fee offices include the driver's license bureau and revenue offices.

"The governor has already addressed this issue," Sloca said. "He is attempting to streamline the fee office process."

Harris said he will file legislation to open the fee office process to bidding.

"We are simply asking the Governor to play by the same rules he's asking Missourians to play by," said Harris. "Every dollar counts."