Tag: Budget Reform

The State Budget: Your priorities – or theirs?

YOU’RE A TAXPAYER? SORRY, YOU DIDN’T MAKE THE PRIORITY LIST This year, the General Assembly had more than $1 billion in new revenue to appropriate. The final version of the $23.5 billion spending plan, therefore, should be an excellent gauge of lawmakers’ priorities. Here’s what we know: Lawmakers created 250+ new full-time government employees; gave …

Writing the State Budget – by the Law

For decades, South Carolina lawmakers have cobbled together the state budget with virtually no input from the governor. The state’s spending priorities were largely dictated by members of the General Assembly – and especially by the chairmen and members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The governor’s only formal input into the budget process was limited to (a) general guidelines summed up in the State of the State address, and (b) budget vetoes. Governor Sanford broke with tradition by submitting detailed executive budgets, but these were almost totally ignored.

Breaking Open the State Budget: Other Funds Spending in South Carolina

States use different budget categories to differentiate the sources and purposes of
different revenue streams. South Carolina, like other states, has multiple funding
categories. Broadly speaking, state spending is divided into the following four areas: 1)
the General Fund; 2) Federal Funds; 3) Other Funds; and 4) Proviso/Special Funding
spending not included in any of the previous categories.1

Collaborative-Strategic Budgeting for Cabinet-Level Agencies

For the past few decades, states have experimented with various forms of zero- and performance-based budgeting practices as a means of making state agencies more efficient and accountable. Many states, for instance, employ a limited form of zero-based budgeting that requires agencies to create a budget from a zero base and then justify each program and expenditure. Many states also require agencies to use various performance measures aimed at demonstrating how agency programs and funding are producing desired results. Yet, these reforms have had only limited success in reducing state spending.