As Republicans, we want a government that is efficient, customer-friendly and performance-based. We believe that we should focus on the interests of the governed, not the government. During the 2008 General Assembly session, the Senate presented its principles of budgeting to guide the Senate Appropriations Committee in developing the FY 08 and FY 09 appropriations bills and future appropriations bills. It passed the committee unanimously, and we agreed to:
* Adhere to sound long term fiscal policy that will leave the State with a strong financial foundation for future generations.
* Limit budget growth based on current economic climate and key growth percentages.
* Establish policy priorities through program budgeting.
* Conduct climate evaluations and zero base budget analysis of programs to ensure these programs are efficiently and effectively meeting state needs and objectives.
* Refelct all revenue sources to create transparency and show the full funding needs of a program.
* Fund a full year fiscal plan to allow all major policy priorities to compete against one another during consideration for the general budget.
* Limit mid year adjustments to critical, constitutional, or emergency priorities.
* Evaluate local projects/bond projects for state wide application, regional impact, inclusion on agency priority lists, and importance to Senate district.
During the 2009 session, I will support:
* Freeze property reassessments to prevent backdoor tax increases at the local level.
* Pass the taxpayer Protection Act that limits growth in future state spending. Any revenue that exceeds inflation and population growth must be used to cut taxes, reduce debt, or placed in a rainy day fund.
* Look at every service and agency ad see what can be done for less money or better quality by the private sector. Privitazation should be considered in examing old programs and before any requests for proposals are written.
* Cut a tax. Any tax. By any amount. This includes the car tag tax and eliminates the state's quarter mill property tax. I supported this in the 2008 session and will continue to do so.
* The FairTax proposed by Congressman John Linder. I have supported the FairTax for years (even though it is a federal issue) and will continue to support it.