Legislators should appropriately account for spent tax dollars, eliminate state budget inefficiencies, and determine why each agency and its programs are necessary.

Today, the General Appropriations Act (GAA), the bill creating the state budget, is constructed using a strategy-based budgeting format. This format lays out programs under broad strategies that make them difficult to track and evaluate. The budget should be written with each agency’s revenue and expense listed by program, as well as listing the revenue source next to each line item. Changing to a program-based budgeting format would simplify the process for taxpayers, leading to more transparency and a greater chance to cut inefficiencies. This would help hold the Legislature accountable for its budget practices while helping educate and empower taxpayers.