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Wolk budget reform bill gets unanimous support

By
March 31, 2011 |

Legislation by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to establish a performance-based budget process for California focused on achieving measurable outcomes and results was approved Wednesday on a unanimous, bipartisan 8-0 vote by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

“Senate Bill 14 takes a proven approach to budgeting that focuses on delivering improved outcomes and achieving clear goals. This measure enacts practical, logical reforms that are overwhelmingly supported by the public from all sides of the political spectrum and are long overdue,” Wolk said in a news release.

“Our current system focuses on how much we spend, beginning with how much we spent last year, and adding or subtracting some amount depending on the economy and projected revenue. It’s time to change that.”

SB 14 would require that budgets be crafted to deliver results through performance-based management and increased oversight of state programs, both to monitor progress and regularly identify ways to improve service and create better outcomes.

In addition, the bill would require the Legislature to thoroughly review every program’s performance at least once every 10 years to determine if the program should continue, or how they could be improved.

“Results matter,” Wolk said. “Improving results should be the focus of our budgeting process. This is an important first step to changing not only our process, but our government culture.”

SB 14 is a bipartisan measure with Republican and Democrat coauthors in the Senate and Assembly. The bill is being sponsored by the bipartisan reform group California Forward and has a broad coalition of supporters that include business and labor, local governments, and public interest groups.

Among the group’s supporters are the Silicon Valley Leadership Group; State Building and Construction Trades Council of California; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and Kern County Taxpayers Association.

SB 14, which is a reintroduction of legislation Wolk authored during the last session, will be heard next in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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