Thursday, February 25, 2010

State Budgets--What is wrong with this process?

The first thing you learn as an accountant is that budgets are better done over time and not rushed at the end of the year. A rushed budget is one where not everyone has a chance to provide critical information and input that matters to the final product. If a company ran their budget process like the state does it would go bankrupt in a very short period of time?

State Senator Keller sent in this op-ed to illustrate how the process works best when he created two bills that passed both the senate and the house during this last session.

We need to create a process in this state where the budget is a longer process which includes time and opportunity for everyone to give their input and to provide supporting date on items that would be covered by the budget. The process must be open to the voters and have a common meeting ground where legislators could listen to all input to supply them with the best information.

It is not good when a voter cannot contact his or her representative during these very hectic sessions because it fails to support a budget outcome that is a result of the best ideas and suggestion from everyone in the state.

If an open and transparent system was created where the budget with all of its supporting information and supporting date was put on a website open to the public then people would feel less at the mercy of closed door attempts to finalize a deal that no one understands or for that matter can live with in the long run.

State Senators and Representatives should be required to show item by item which parts of any budget they support in order to encourage feedback from their constituency. Open government is a good thing for all New Mexicans.