State Auditor Nicole Galloway has put forth two ideas that would make for better government in Missouri.
The first is straightforward, and it’s a no-brainer. Governments across Missouri – local, state, all of them – should ban public officials and public employees from using apps such as Confide, which automatically delete text messages after they are read.
The potential for abuse here is obvious. If an official and a lobbyist exchange letters, those are public records. Same with an email. Same with a text. The public’s business should be conducted in public, with specific and rare exceptions – not blanket exceptions.
Former Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff used Confide, and the state has paid $377,000 – so far – defending this irresponsible behavior in court. This is ridiculous. Ban these apps.
The second idea from Galloway – not a new one – is creating a larger rainy day fund for state government. The state, through a series of deliberate policy changes by the General Assembly, has become overly reliant on revenue sources such as the sales tax.
Someday another recession will come, and that fickle revenue source is likely to hammer Jefferson City. How prepared we are is up to us. Having no substantial rainy day fund leaves leaders with fewer options and leaves all of us more at the mercy of events. That tends to produce decisions, made in haste, that most hurt those who are already hurting.
The General Assembly has been hostile to this idea – and in our state even something as simple as a rainy fund can be demagogued – but it’s good government. It deserves a debate.