Privatization in Jefferson City
Money also was a motivator as a Senate committee heard testimony last week on the possibility of privatizing the maintenance and operation of state buildings. Missouri faces a maintenance backlog estimated by a legislative panel at nearly $1 billion.
I hope that the House and Senate can reach an agreement and move forward with this idea. This is just one example of the opportunities that privatization provides to save money, improve services, or sometimes both. (This particular example would fall under the “save money” category.) Short of law enforcement, you can basically privatize any public service, and probably find examples somewhere of the private sector providing just about every type of public service. That does not mean that every single aspect of government services is right for privatization in Missouri. For example, I don’t see any chance of private fire departments coming to Missouri, although they have a number of them in our border state of Tennessee.
What it does mean is that as government services go through reviews and reauthorizations, the option of privatization should be considered for each of them. Sometimes it will be the best option, sometimes it won’t. I think that managing state buildings is absolutely something a private commercial property management company can do, and it would be great for them to be given the opportunity to do it.