The non-profit Missouri Conservation Federation wants lawmakers as far away from the state-run Conservation Department as possible. Federation Executive Director Brandon Butler says legislators, who have no control over the department’s budget, try to exert more power every year through various proposals.
He thinks the efforts pose a danger to an agency with a reputation for serving the public.
Several bills in the Missouri legislature could potentially impact operations of the state Conservation Department. They would call on voters to approve the department’s funding arrangement and place several lawmakers on the commission that sets the department policies and regulations.
Steve Jones, a vocal member of the non-profit Missouri Conservation Federation, thinks legislators take an unfriendly view toward the department.
Currently, lawmakers have no control over the Conservation Department or its budget which is funded by an eighth-of-a-cent sales tax.