For Immediate Release:
Dec. 3, 2013

Contact: Eric Jennings
(573) 751 - 2583
Senator Bob Dixon Introduces Executive Branch Accountability Act

JEFFERSON CITY — Senator Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, recently prefiled legislation to increase accountability and clarity in the gubernatorial appointments process: the Executive Branch Accountability Act (Senate Bill 507) and a proposed constitutional amendment (Senate Joint Resolution 30). SB 507 and SJR 30 would ensure timely appointments to fill vacancies on boards and commissions, curtail “temporary” appointments without Senate confirmation, and empower the people to fill vacancies in elected offices at the earliest opportunity. 

“Past governors, of both parties, have respected the integrity of the appointments process,” said Sen. Dixon. “’Shall appoint’ does not mean ‘when it’s most convenient.’ Neglecting a principal duty to fill vacancies and dodging Senate confirmation of department heads does a disservice to the people of Missouri. In fact, faced with a ‘game-changing’ economic development opportunity, the Legislature is being asked to expand economic development programs and entrust them to an ‘acting’ department director who’s never been confirmed by the Senate — the third one in two years.”  

The governor has the constitutional duty to make certain appointments to public offices, subject to Senate confirmation, including executive department directors and members of administrative boards and commissions. Presently, six of 10 executive department directors appointed directly by the governor are “acting” directors, serving without Senate “advice and consent.” At the same time, a majority of the positions on half or more of the state’s administrative boards and commissions are vacant or filled by members whose terms have expired. 

SB 507 would modify the gubernatorial appointment process for department directors and the process for filling vacancies in certain elected offices. SJR 30 would make clear the limits of the governor’s appointment authority and provide for prompt appointments by authorizing the lieutenant governor to make certain appointments if the governor fails to make an appointment within 90 days of a vacancy in the position.

“Restoring proper checks and balances and maintaining the integrity of the process requires action,” said Sen. Dixon. “Our appointments process should reflect clear constitutional mandates and respect for the rule of law, not an absence of active leadership.”   

For more information on SJR 30 and SB 507, visit and click on the List of 2014 Prefiled Senate Bills under the Legislation tab.