I believe we can cut spending and lower taxes without cutting critical services by implementing zero-based budgeting. Every state department should have a comprehensive budget review every three years by an outside auditing firm that reports to the legislature. It's ridiculous that departments only request increases over the previous year budget while the prior budget is automatically approved. Every department should have to justify its entire budget rather than just the increases. This will identify and eliminate waste while allowing us to prioritize our spending.
Just as you and I have to tighten and review our budget so should the government. You and I can't just demand a pay raise during these difficult times and neither should the government.
I will never forget whose money I'm a steward of and whom I work for. Before spending a dollar I'll ask myself: "Would the tax payers want their money spent this way?" I will apply the same thriftiness that was ingrained in me growing up on a farm as the oldest of 10 children to the job of State Representative.
I also support a Taxpayer Protection Act limiting our budget growth to no more than the sum of the rates of inflation plus population growth. All budget surpluses would go to reduce debt, build up a rainy day fund, and reduce taxes. If our state held to this policy during the good years, we'd be fiscally sound rather than dealing with serious budget shortages.