The recently concluded session of the General Assembly managed to produce a budget and a tax bill that supposedly will solve the future revenue short falls in Kentucky. I have my doubts about how good a budget we got and whether the tax changes were substantial enough to make a real difference. The next budget review occurs next year; we will see where we are at then.
Having been on the Auditor of Public Accounts Executive Staff and a manager in the Department of Financial Institutions, I have a nodding acquaintanceship with the Kentucky’s budget process. Suzanne, my wife, and I have regularly over the years solved the budget problems of the state over the dinner table. Suzanne is a CPA and was the budget officer for the Kentucky Department of Housing before she retired.
Recently reading the online version of Governing Magazine. I ran across an idea that makes all kinds of sense and, if you are a policy wonk, could be fun.
The Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) site has a page they call the Budget Balancer - 2005.
From the MPR page:
“How should we spend our money? That's the question the governor, state lawmakers, and all Minnesotans have to answer as the state faces yet another two-year budget deficit.
In 2003, it was more than $4 billion.
This time it's $466 million, $1.2 billion if you add inflation. (The Legislature voted to not include inflation this year.)
Minnesota law requires a balanced budget. The governor has proposed his fix. This is your chance.”
What a great idea. Now all we have to do is get the state to create the same kind of site for Kentucky. Maybe Minnesota will loan us the code.