WHS Grad Takes A Top Spot At MO State Capitol

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Kyle Rieman grew up in Warsaw and graduated from Warsaw High School in 2007. He continued his studies at Missouri State in Springfield, earning a double major in Sociology and Economics. At the end of his senior year at the university, he became an intern for the Missouri Legislature and has advanced rapidly, being named as Director of the Fiscal Oversight Division in July.
Rieman’s mother, Carrie Rieman, of the Benton County Enterprise staff, believes that he is the youngest person, at 29, to have filled this position. 
“I haven’t checked any of the prior directors to see if that is true,” said Kyle Rieman. “But, I am currently the youngest person in my office.”
The Fiscal Oversight Division prepares fiscal notes on bills and joint resolutions before action may be taken on them.  The fiscal notes must 1) state the cost of the proposed legislation to the state; 2) whether the proposal would establish a program or agency which would duplicate an existing program or agency; 3) whether the provisions of the proposal were federally mandated; 4) whether the proposal would have significant direct fiscal impact upon any political subdivision of the state; 5) whether any new physical facilities would be required; 6) and, whether the proposal would fiscally impact small business.
This non-partisan job takes a lot of math and critical thinking skills, and Rieman has to ask himself how a bill is going to solve a problem and what areas it will impact. He says that a lot of research involves checking other states to see what similar legislation was enacted and how it was implemented. His Division also reads subject matter publications by college professors to get information on bills. 
I consider myself a public servant, and my goal is to gather factual information and data, to hopefully help construct good policies to benefit the citizens of Missouri,” said Rieman. “Our office helps members of the General Assembly to create or change programs such as reducing incarceration rates for juveniles, or fixing inefficiencies in State Government. There are sometimes oddball things that I have to gather facts and data about, but I don’t judge.”
The process in preparing a fiscal note begins when the drafter in either Senate Research or House Research forwards a copy of the bill draft to Oversight with a request for fiscal note. Oversight reviews the draft and forwards a copy to all affected state agencies and local political subdivisions as required by statue. 
Once the agencies have reviewed the legislative draft and have determined what fiscal impact, if any, it will have upon their agency, they respond to Oversight. Oversight compiles all agency responses and together with their own independent research, prepares a fiscal note stating the estimated fiscal impact to state government, local governments and small businesses.
The Oversight Division prepares approximately 2,200 fiscal notes during a regular legislative session. In addition to preparing fiscal notes, the Oversight Division also performs program evaluations as directed by the members of the joint committee. An evaluation generally includes examination of state agency records, interviews of agency staff, surveys of affected citizens, on-site observation of program operations and review of similar programs in other states. The division is currently conducting an evaluation of the State Legal Expense Fund, which pays for all legal expenses and settlement costs in cases involving a state entity.
Rieman became a legislative intern as part of a Missouri State at Springfield program. The internship turned into a career in 2011 where he worked for the Secretary of State in the Elections Division. He handled all elections and initiative petitions. He verified with county clerks to make sure there were enough signatures on petitions to put them on the ballot.  He did this job for two years before going to work for the Office of Administration, for three years, as a budget and policy research analyst.  He and other non-partisan staffers followed legislation, reporting to the Governor, making recommendations and looking for problems that needed to be addressed.
The two years prior to his current position as the Oversight Director, Rieman was a budget analyst for the Missouri House of Representatives.  There his duties were similar to those of his previous position with the Office of Administration, except he was working for the legislative branch instead of the executive branch. 
Rieman plans to stay in public service helping to enhance government efficiency and assisting in creating data driven public policy.