(Lansing, MI) – State Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton), chair of the Michigan State Police and Military and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, today unveiled a new appropriations bill structure that will be reflected in the FY 2011-12 appropriations budgets for the Michigan State Police and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The proposed new structure places the emphasis on delivery of quality services through the use of metrics, incentive programs and a quality review process.
“The old way of thinking about Department budgets was to appropriate funds through the use of a line-item budget that tied the hands of the Departments, removed the focus from service delivery and discouraged efficiency through innovation,” Senator Colbeck said. “Oftentimes, these old budgets encouraged the use of existing funds even if it wasn’t necessary, resulting in inefficient use of taxpayer dollars.
“This proposed new budget structure allows the Departments to shift funds where they are needed to improve services, provides incentives for finding efficiencies and is a major step forward in transparency in government operations.”
The proposed new budget will focus on services, not infrastructure, and put in place measurable metrics to evaluate delivery of those services. This will give the Departments flexibility to allocate funds where they are most needed to improve services. Taxpayers will be safeguarded by restrictions placed on the funds at the Department level rather than at the line-item level.
“The flexibility built into this proposed budget structure will aid the departments in allocating funds based on service needs and not budget restrictions. For example, there are no trooper lay-offs in this budget. In fact, the legislation removes the trooper hiring freeze, allowing the Department of State Police to determine how much to allocate to trooper staffing levels. The shift for the Legislature will be from micromanaging the funding of line-items to micromanaging service expectations.
“Governor Snyder laid the groundwork for changing the way we think about the budget process by introducing the Dashboard as a way of evaluating government services and increasing accountability. This new approach to appropriations bills is the logical extension of that plan and lays out the metrics by which we can evaluate the services provided. This is the next step in reinventing the way state government makes funding decisions,” Colbeck concluded.
The new appropriations bill was presented in today’s State Police and Military and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee meeting. The bills are expected to be voted out of committee on Tuesday, April 19.