Local News

Senator supports budget reforms

By March 11, 2011

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, announced Friday that she supports the budget reforms proposed last week by the Little Hoover Commission and the California state auditor. The reforms focus on performance and outcomes while restructuring the state’s relationship with local governments.

“Several of (the recommendations) fundamentally change how the state operates and will ensure efficient program results for Californians,” Wolk said in a news release. “They reinforce the work our Senate Committee has done over the last two months focused on improving performance and  outcomes as we restructure the state and local relationship and bring government closer to the people.”

Notable recommendations by the Little Hoover Commission include:

*Performance measurement and management. The governor should develop a performance leadership and accountability system that both supports existing performance measurement efforts and articulates a vision for how performance measurement can be used to better manage California state government, aided by examples set by Washington and Virginia. This would help the state develop the capacity needed within state government to adopt performance-based budgeting.

* Realignment of state and local roles. The governor and Legislature should pursue further opportunities to realign responsibilities and resources, refining the state role to create the best conditions for county success by:

— Setting clear but flexible goals for program outcomes;

— Ensuring a reliable, flexible funding structure that promotes long-term planning and efficient operations;

— Creating incentives for counties to meet state goals and to reduce state expenses;

— Monitoring performance and quality;

— Providing a hub of information about best practices and innovative programs; and

— Holding counties accountable for results and stepping in where counties fail to deliver.

In January, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, selected Wolk to chair a newly consolidated Senate Governance and Finance Committee tasked with restructuring the relationship between state and local governments and reforming the budget process.

“I look forward to working with the governor and his staff to implement the recommendations that were put forward,” Wolk said. “This bipartisan commission has a good track record and has done their job well. Now it’s our turn to make these fundamental changes real in the months ahead.”

Enterprise staff

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