Today's Winston-Salem Journal advocates for an idea long past due here in NC: zero-based budgeting. The reason this process is so needed is because most of the spending each year is never evaluated – budget makers focus almost exclusively on new spending and simply don't put much time into scrutinizing spending that is basically locked in each year.
changes to the governor's proposed changes in the budget." The legislature goes
on "auto pilot" when it looks at the budget, Blust told the Journal, "and
we need to start flying on manual."
Blust recently introduced a bill (HB 45)that would subject about a third of General Fund expenditures to zero-based budgeting process biennium, to be repeated on a rotating basis so each program and agency would receive thorough scrutiny every six years.
More than likely, this bill will die a quiet death in committee – which will be a shame. The current budget crisis exemplifies the need for more comprehensive reviews of the entire budget, not just each year's new spending.