Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Senate Performance-Based Budgeting Bill Reported From Committee

The Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday amended and reported out Senate Bill 181 (Mensch-R-Montgomery) establishing a Performance-Based Budget Board and requiring state agencies to justify their budget requests for all existing and proposed programs every year.
The legislation, however, does not cover the expenditures of the General Assembly ($365.1 million) or the Judiciary ($355.5 million) or $720.6 million of the General Fund budget.  It only covers the agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction.
The Budget Board is required to review the performance-based budget plans of state agencies and make recommendations on how each agency’s programs may be made more transparent, effective, and efficient.
The Budget Board is made up of the Majority and Minority Chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the Governor’s Budget Secretary.  
The agency budget plans approved by the Board are to be “considered” by the Governor and the General Assembly in developing the Commonwealth’s annual budget.
The bill was amended in Committee to require the Independent Fiscal Office to do a review tax credit programs.
When the bill was introduced in January, Sen. Mensch said, “The traditional method of budget development relies upon incremental adjustments to expenditures made in the previous financial period.
“New and changing demands for public services are met through excessive budget growth rather than by pruning obsolete programs and redirecting existing funds.  We need to ensure that the budget is driven by clear and defensible purposes rather than inertia. We want government spending to be transparent, effective, and efficient for our taxpayers.”
Senate Bill 181 is now on the Senate Floor for action.

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