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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 9, 2016 11:17 AM
From: Senator Ryan P. Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Biennial (Two-Year) Budget
In the near future I intend to re-introduce legislation that would establish a biennial (two-year) budget cycle in Pennsylvania. Through a constitutional amendment, this proposal would require the enactment of a budget covering a two-year period. Such a proposal would increase efficiency and productivity in state government, and encourage long-range planning among state agencies and other entities receiving state appropriations.

At a time where it appears that for many, the June 30th budget deadline is merely a suggestion, it is only logical to consider a more efficient way of budgeting. In the last ten years, Pennsylvania has only seen an on-time, enacted budget three times. As we have seen, consistently ignoring the statutory deadline only hurts the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – change is necessary.

A two-year budget cycle would help to facilitate comprehensive planning by incorporating a long-term perspective and allowing for increased predictability in the budget process. This proposal would put into place a commitment to move expenditures and policy in a given direction for a longer period of time, and reduces costs of both time and resources. Further, such a process would allow for in-depth review and evaluation of state programs and encourage outcome-focused budgeting.

Our current budget process is time-consuming, repetitive, and inefficient. Repeating this fight every year only contributes to the complexity of the budget process and encourages delay. Please join me in supporting this proposal to reform the budget process.

Introduced as SB1171