(October 2015) Boards and Commissions have been described as “low-hanging fruit” in terms of state government reorganization.  A state website lists 119 separate entities that include the words “board” or “commission,”1 though the number could be greater.  A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year has caused analysts to question whether some boards and commissions interfere with the workings of a market-based economic system.


The U.S. Supreme Court held state boards have limited anti-trust immunity.2


The roles played by boards and commissions vary by state and program.3 The 2014-2015 National Governors Association initiative, Delivering Results, focused on helping governors identify strategies to improve state government efficiency. Many states have launched efforts to streamline regulatory processes to encourage easier experiences with state government and to promote economic growth.4  Research published by the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2011 listed savings estimates from four states, including two (Oklahoma and Texas) that border Arkansas.5


A California project, “Government Reorganization,”6 featured public hearings that included organizational recommendations to “reduce reliance on boards and commissions.”  The N.Y. Times discussed reorganization in Connecticut, Iowa, Washington while noting challenges faced in other states.7


–Greg Kaza

1  http://www.arkansas.gov/government/agencies

2 North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. Excerpt from decision: “Because a controlling number of the Board’s decision makers are active market participants in the occupation the Board regulates, the Board can invoke state-action antitrust immunity only if it was subject to active supervision by the State, and here that requirement is not met.”

3  http://www.nga.org/cms/home/management-resources/governors-powers-and-authority.html

4 “Delivering Results: Creating and Refining Results-Oriented Regulations,” http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/2015/1415CIResultsOrientedRegulations.pdf; “Delivering Results: Data-Driven Approaches to Delivering Better Outcomes,” http://www.nga.org/cms/home/nga-center-for-best-practices/center-publications/page-ehsw-publications/col2-content/main-content-list/data-driven-approaches-to-delive.html; “Delivering Results: Core Principles,” http://www.nga.org/cms/home/nga-center-for-best-practices/center-publications/page-ehsw-publications/col2-content/main-content-list/delivering-results-core-principl.html

5  “Elimination & Consolidation of State Entities,” http://www.ncsl.org/documents/fiscal/eliminations2011.pdf

6  http://www.lhc.ca.gov/reorg/reorg/reorg.html

7 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/us/politics/08boards.html?_r=0