Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed his government reorganization bill today and promises we’ve not seen anything like it. Perhaps.

Timing couldn’t be better for promises of improved government. His Human Services Department  is screwing up management of programs that provide local behavioral health services. This is on the heels of the totally screwed up implementation of the mean Medicaid work rule. The state Education Department, a failure at overseeing Little Rock schools, heard and seemed little concerned today that a live-or-die test imposed on LRSD as a condition of local control was totally effed up in a number of schools this year. Inmates are dropping like flies in the ever-more-secretive Correction Department. The Highway Department only missed its estimate on the calamitous Concrete Ditch in Little Rock by a half-billion dollars. The governor himself, nominally a lawyer, seems happy to sign a bill even he acknowledges is unconstitutional because, well, it doesn’t really mean anything. This was the same excuse offered in passing a lobby bill yesterday, that the Tobacco Control agency wasn’t enforcing workplace safety and child protection rules anyway, so why not take them out of the law.

My rant is inspired by learning that the head of Tobacco Control, Steve Goode, is one of those appointed by the governor to oversee his transition team. If you can’t just ignore the law, kill it completely. That seems like an efficiency mantra to me.

Anyway, the governor announced his transition “team”

Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the formation of the Transformation Transition Team, a team of state employees who will assist with the implementation of the Transformation and Efficiencies Act of 2019, which the Governor signed into law this afternoon.

The Transformation and Efficiencies Act of 2019 authorizes the reduction of the number of cabinet-level agencies from 42 to 15 and accomplishes the largest reorganization of state government in almost 50 years.

“Today was a historic day as I signed the Transformation and Efficiencies Act of 2019,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This is a significant accomplishment that sets Arkansas on the right course to better serve her citizens. But this legislation is just the beginning. We have a long road ahead as we work to implement these changes to transform state government.

“I have put together this team to ensure a smooth transition in the upcoming months. I carefully selected the members of the transition team and am confident that each member’s unique experience and expertise will be a valuable asset as we make history by reforming the way state government operates.”

The Transformation Transition Team will operate at no additional cost to the state. The members of the team will serve in concurrence with their current state agency positions and will receive no additional compensation. The team will use office space in the Union Plaza Building at no additional cost to the state.

The Transformation Transition Team will begin its work on Monday, April 15, 2019, and will continue operations no later than July 31, 2019.

Members of the team are:
Amy Fecher – Chair
Governor’s Office – Office of Transformation
Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Betty Anderson
Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Chad Brown
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration – Office of State Procurement

Charlie Collins
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration

Steve Goode
Arkansas Tobacco Control

Solomon Graves
Arkansas Department of Corrections

Jay Harton
Arkansas Department of Information Systems

Danni Hoeffer
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration – Alcoholic Beverage Control

Conley Hurst
Governor’s Office

Alex Johnston
Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Caleb Osborne
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

Steven Porch
Arkansas Department of Career Education

Ann Purvis
Arkansas Department of Health

Mitch Rouse
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

Phillip Warriner
Arkansas State Police

Brooke Woodward
Governor’s Office – Office of Transformation