VACostCutting

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In Case You Missed It: Virginia Needs to Ditch Unwieldy Two-Year Budget Process

One thing we are definitely in favor here at the Cost Cutting Caucus is accountability. And we know that one key to accountability is transparency.

Delegates Albert Pollard and Chris Saxman have introduced legislation (HB2092) that would help bring more accountability to Virginia's budget process by shifting to an annual budget cycle, as opposed to the current 2-year budget cycle.

We mentioned their bill here the other week- and the two delegates shared also their views on this proposal in this editorial that ran in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

The write:

As members of opposite parties in the House of Delegates, we realize that revenue shortfalls know no partisan bounds.

While no one could predict Wall Street's meltdown, we believe that a concrete step to bring greater budget discipline to Virginia is the enactment of annual budgets. For that reason, we are co-sponsoring legislation to change Virginia's traditional two-year budget to a one-year document.

...

The argument for an annual budget can be summed up in two words: accountability and discipline.

The two-year budget creates a muddy picture of the state's true finances. For instance, when a headline screams about a billion-dollar shortfall, is it a billion dollar annual shortfall, or is that spread over two years? When a leader talks about a $500 million cut, is it an annual cut or a biennial?



Read their full Op/Ed piece online here.

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