PINE BLUFF — The key to unlocking opportunity and change in the state of Arkansas rests upon one thing, according to Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin. On Tuesday, Griffin discussed the benefits of government transformation during the Rotary Club of Pine Bluff’s meeting at the Pine Bluff Country Club.
“It’s not going to change itself easily,” Griffin said of the government system in the state. “It takes a lot of political pressure to change it. So, transformation has to be a deliberate act and that’s why I’m glad the governor is allowing us to take a look at a lot of different things in state government.”
Earlier this year, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the creation of the Transformation Advisory Board, or TAB. According to Hutchinson’s website, it was established in an effort to take another “step toward transforming state government by identifying efficiencies and cost-savings to better serve the Arkansas taxpayer.”
“Transformation is a key priority of mine, as governor, and I will continue to maintain that focus as we look for better ways to run state government, reduce bureaucracy and increase the level of savings to the state and taxpayer,” Hutchinson said in a release.
Griffin, who is a member of the Transformation Advisory Board, spoke about areas the state could improve upon starting with the tax code.
“It’s a horrible tax code as far as I’m concerned,” Griffin said. “And if you look at where we stand with regard to other states, we can do much better.”
In addition to the tax code, Griffin voiced his concern about highways and infrastructure across the state.
“Thirty-four other states have highway and infrastructure funding in their general revenue budget,” Griffin said. “We do not. We need to look at that.”
Griffin listed four reasons why pursuing government transformation is vital to the state’s growth, including: The government’s moral obligation not to take citizens’ money by force and spend it any way other than wisely; the services that government provides can be done better; more can be done with less; and Arkansas’ obligation to do it since other cities and states are transforming.
“Government transformation is the key to unlock the door to a lot of the things that I either want or you want in the state of Arkansas,” Griffin said. “It is the key to everything we need to do as a state. If you want to get to where we need to go, transformation is the key.”
Griffin encouraged attendees to voice their concerns and opinions on matters in their state, as TAB is always looking for input. He says that the board hasn’t submitted all of their ideas to transform Arkansas to Hutchinson just yet adding that he will be the one to select which suggestions will be implemented. Even though there are a lot of changes he’d like to see happen, Griffin says he’s hopeful for what the future of Arkansas can be for his children and Arkansans.
“My kids have a lot to do with my perspective on sort of where we are as a state and what we got to do. I am not a fan of a 100-year plan, because none of us will be here in 100 years,” Griffin said. “And I think most of the things we need to do in terms of state government, in terms of creating an environment we can grow jobs, most of those things don’t take a 100 years.”