As a member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, I've spent hours in hearings evaluating the budgets of each state agency. I strongly believe we must make the budget process more transparent, with stated goals and measurement of performance. I supported legislation last session requiring state agencies to set goals and to measure progress toward attaining those goals. The legislation was, unfortunately, vetoed by Governor Gibbons but will be reintroduced next session.
In the past 18 months, we have cut more than $1 billion in state spending. And, we are continuing to look for ways our state can save money. During the last session, I supported legislation that limited the use of expensive, outside consultants. We must also work to make our government work more efficiently by consolidating or sharing services where possible and improving the collection of unpaid taxes.
We must work to protect vital state services--education, health care and public safety. I supported the State Revenue Stabilization Fund, a forced savings account for our state, to avoid the drastic cuts that these programs face during economic downturns.