HARRISBURG – In an effort to create more efficiency and productivity in state government, Senator Mike Brubaker (R-36) reintroduced today legislation that would give Pennsylvanians a voice in reforming the Commonwealth’s annual budget process.
Senate Bill 598 would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish a biennial, or two-year, budget cycle and encourage long-range planning among state agencies and other entities that receive state appropriations. Because the bill would require amending the state constitution, this measure will need legislative approval in two consecutive sessions before receiving final approval in a voter referendum.
“During the previous administration, debates proved just how disruptive the overall budget process has become — a process that is time consuming, repetitive and simply inefficient. Repeating this battle year after year only contributes to the complexity of this process and encourages delay. Creating a two-year budget cycle would improve upon a system that is long overdue for reform,” Brubaker said.
Senate Bill 598 would also help to facilitate comprehensive planning by incorporating a long-term perspective and allowing for increased predictability in the budget process. As a result, the legislation would put into place a commitment to move expenditures and policy in a given direction for a longer period of time and reduce the costs of both time and resources, according to Brubaker.
“In addition to providing long-range planning and increasing overall efficiency and productivity in state government, this legislation would allow for in-depth review and evaluation of state programs and encourage outcome-focused budgeting. No question, two years between budgets also allows for more program evaluation to take place, ultimately leading to more oversight,” he added.