The Arizona Budget Commission was formed today through Senate President Bob Burns’ fiat. The commission will look at how agencies spend tax dollars and identify “cutting-edge technologies that will assist in balancing state budgets,” a statement from Burns’ office said.
In addition to looking at spending reductions and revenue streams, lawmakers will identify inefficiencies within state government and correct them, Burns said. Sen. Thayer Verschoor is quoted saying, “If revenues continue to decline, we will need to make additional reductions to the state budget during the current year, and we must start planning for the 2011 budget in light of the continuing downturn in state revenues.”
The new commission, which will hold public hearings, can assist the budget process by providing additional information on how to responsibly reduce state spending, Verschoor said, adding that it will assess how agencies allocate funds appropriated to them, build a “streamlined system,” and create best-practices management models for state government. “This Legislature will not support harsh service reductions while holding harmless a delivery system that is weighed down with waste, fraud and abuse,” he said. He identified DES and K-12 as the areas/agencies that will be reviewed first.
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