Kudos to the General Assembly’s Legislative Research Commission, which has forwarded to the full General Assembly a number of recommendations tied to greater accountability for the use of public dollars, including zero-based budgeting. From Mitch Kokai’s Carolina Journal story:


Each bill sprang from the debates of the LRC’s Committee on Efficiencies in State Government, which met four times after the regular 2011 legislative session.

One proposal emerging from that committee work calls on lawmakers to create an Efficiency and Cost-Savings Commission, a 10-member group “for the purpose of identifying an agency or agencies to undergo zero-based budgeting review.”

“The committee looked extensively at beginning a process of zero-based budgeting across all areas of state government,” said committee co-chairman Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, during a three-minute presentation to the full LRC. “The committee expressed a lot of concerns with the ability of staff and time to be able to do that and came back with a recommendation that mirrors what is House Bill 627.”

“It does not implement zero-based budgeting across state government immediately,” Hise explained, but it would start the process by identifying the agencies that could undergo an “experimental” zero-based budgeting review. The legislation also would “begin to look at things such as what would be the expected legislative and staff times to implement this for various programs, as well as across all of state government.”


Excellent news.