Eye On Olympia

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Here's the list of boards and commissions slated for elimination or reconsideration.

In a press conference, Gregoire talked about needing to "de-layer state government" and make it more nimble and relevant to Washingtonians' needs.

The 154 boards and commissions she's ending (or recommending that lawmakers do) are part of a massive network of advisory groups that "were created over decades of the best of intentions," she said. But too often, she said, there's little to show for the effort except "lot of paper and per diem payments."

She also said she plans to introduce legislation to revamp the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, which Gregoire said has morphed into a catch-all agency when no one can figure out where to put a particular mission or function. She wants to split off those duties and return CTED to its core mission as a (renamed) state Department of Commerce. It's mission: bringing and keeping businesses and attracting family-wage jobs.

She's also looking at moving the Department of Fish and Wildlife's enforcement jobs to the State Patrol.

"We need to re-tool how we serve Washingtonians," Gregoire said. "We need to reboot."

For too long, government has been afraid to rock the boat too much, she said.

"It's past time for us to do exactly that: mess with the status quo," she said.

Gregoire also said that future reforms might include a call for combining emergency response efforts, particularly in rural Eastern Washington.

"Do we really need 25 separate call centers for 9-1-1?" she said. "I'm not sure that we do."

Some things were clearly too important to do away with, she said, such as the commissions that regulate doctors, dentists and other health professionals. But she said many of the groups were formed to consider a particular problem, and then were never disbanded.

"Some of these boards and commissions report to no one," Gregoire said. "To no one. And no one knows what they do. That out to be a red flag right there."

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