27 January 2009

Streamlining Ohio Government Good, But . . .

First off let me say that I am all out in favor of streamlining government. Less is more, in my book. There is so much duplication in government today that if it existed in the private sector no one could make a profit. Layer upon layer of bureaucracy does no one any good.

Now with that said comes news that a proposal from a few years back to streamline Ohio state government is being dusted off and given a fresh look. This is especially important as we are in a critical budgetary crunch and everyone needs to tighten up their fiscal belts.

It is being suggested that some departments be merged. On paper, not a bad idea. Until you look at likely unintended consequences . . .

One such merger that should be raising an eyebrow among sportsmen and sportswomen is the suggestion to merge the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. On its face it seems like a natural -- protecting the environment and protecting our natural resources are one and the same, right?

Except that under ODNR's umbrella is the Ohio Division of Wildlife. And management of hunting and trapping. And among the largest supporters of Ohio EPA programs are those who oppose hunting and trapping.

See the conondrum? Several republicans, among them former Ohio AG Jim Petro and Sen. Tim Grendell are pushing for streamlining statement government agencies. I am all for it. But in this one case, however, with the Division of Wildlife being something I think is important to preserve, I have very serious reservations.

More on this as I do the research . . .

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