I am enthusiastic that Gov. Rick Snyder supports my plan to take a two-year approach to state spending. Ending the annual budget battles will help free up time for us to focus on revitalizing the state economy and creating jobs.
My proposal, Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, mirrors my previous attempts in the House to implement a two-year budget, as well as the efforts of former Gov. John Engler.
In the mid-1990s, Engler proposed adoption of two-year state budgets to provide certainty and a planning base for those receiving state aid, such as our schools and local governments.
Like his proposal, my initiative would allow the state to adjust spending as needed while still giving schools and other aid recipients some certainty about their base funding level. Engler wanted to use it to plan ahead, which is exactly what we need to do now.
There is strong evidence that biennial budgeting is more conducive to program review and evaluation and would also give state policymakers almost 18 months to focus on ways to reduce spending.
It is long overdue that we make this simple reform. Let’s reduce the time spent arguing about the state budget and more time on reviewing our spending, measuring results and improving efficiency.