There were several bills passed last week that appropriated so-called “pass-through dollars” for FY2012. This is anticipated money from federal and non-general revenue sources for programs the state has little to no control over.
Work also continued to allocate $23.8 billion of general revenue by each of the five House Appropriation Committees. Some committees have started line-by-line budget appropriations while others discussed priorities in preparation for doing the same type of allocation.
The state is moving to budgeting for outcomes over the next year but members are already trying to apply that principal. It was interesting to hear legislators argue for programs they feel are important but then can’t sight specific results for the investment. In the two education appropriation committees of which I am a member, discussion even touched on combining programs and different ways to reach the goal than current programs.
It is truly refreshing to hear members from each party debate ideas and not politics, at least so far. Citizens should realize that the chemistry of this general assembly is different than past assemblies and may be on a road to more fiscal responsibility.
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard. District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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