Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Corbett Says Reforms Will Mean More Efficient Government

During his campaign for governor, Tom Corbett said he would unveil a package of reforms on "day one." A week after his inauguration, Governor Corbett today unveiled a series of proposed reforms that he says are intended to "end waste, fraud and abuse in state government. “I am committed to provide an open, transparent, accountable and trustworthy government that puts our taxpayers first and gets the commonwealth back on track.’’
The proposals generally reflect Corbett's campaign promises and do not break new ground.
They include:
** ending per diems and requiring state employees to submit receipts before they can be reimbursed for food, travel and lodging;
**expanding an online database of state finances,
**urging legislative leaders to reduce a legislative surplus that currently totals nearly $190 million
**eliminating discretionary funds known as WAMS (walking around money) that are used to finance pet projects in legislative districts
**encourage members of the legislature to make the same financial contributions to their health insurance as other state employees do (currently lawmakers pay nothing)

But at the top of Corbett's list of reforms is moving to a biennial budget. Corbett says currently 20 other states use a 2 year budget cycle and he believes this would provide agencies and programs a chance to better control costs and develop more predictable budgets. Switching to a biennial budget would require amending the Pennsylvania Constitution.

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