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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 11, 2015 09:38 AM
From: Representative George Dunbar and Rep. Bryan Cutler
To: All House members
Subject: Partnering with Pew to Produce Cost-Benefit Analyses
Over the course of the last eighteen months we and other members have worked on The Gateways Out of Poverty initiative. As a result of this work we believe that it would be beneficial for the Commonwealth to find a more effective way to measure the level of success of our many poverty related programs. A measurement of success should not just be a count of individuals assisted in each program, but instead should be looked at through a return on investment approach.

Through our meetings with various stakeholders it became apparent that the tool to accomplish this was available through the Pew MacArthur Results First Initiative. We believe that an outcome based measurement tool like Pew’s would greatly assist the General Assembly in redesigning programmatic efforts and adjusting potential fund allocations that would truly help those in need escape the cycle of poverty.

The Pew MacArthur Results First initiative is a collective data gathering and analyzing system that works with government entities to provide cost benefit analyses for specific topic areas within government. Given that the greatest impact on the lives of individuals breaking the cycle of poverty are also the areas that have the largest impact on the state budget, we are interested in initiating these cost-benefit analyses to assess and restructure social programs run by the federal and state government. This is of interest to both providers tasked with fulfilling these often outdated programs requirements designed by government, and of policy makers who are interested in assessing the thousands of programs government funds year in and year out.

Our legislation will allow the Independent Fiscal Office to gather the data from various agencies and input into Pew’s Results First Matrix model. Pew will train existing IFO employees on the Results First matrix model and working in tandem with them, analyze and calculate long-term costs paid by taxpayers and the benefits achieved by these costs for multiple government programs.

The results of these calculations would then be published in an easy-to-read online portal for public consumption, allowing policymakers, budget crafters and the general public the ability to see the original intent and history of the program. Coupled with this analysis is the extensive cost-benefit analysis. This allows for quick and easy identification of future programmatic redesign, empowering policymakers to re-craft these initiatives for greater return on government investments.

This tool is of use to all in helping to identity which programs work and which do not. By engaging in this partnership, we foster greater transparency in government funding, while simultaneously empowering providers to deliver services that work.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation that will foster greater solutions based on data driven results.

Introduced as HB1205