Zero-based budgeting for the State of NC? (It’s ABOUT TIME.)

Actually, I thought we were already doing some of this.

Zero-based budgeting involves putting serious thought into your needs for the upcoming budget year and calculating their costs as close as you can.  The objective?  Finish the budget year(s) with zero dollars in the bank and all your objectives accomplished.

It’s a budget-making style tailor-made to situations where a profit is not expected — like, say, government.  Far too many budgetary decisions in Raleigh and DC involve pitching and approving a scheme and then figuring out what it’s going to cost and what it will take for it to launch.

Senator Jim Burgin (R-Harnett, Lee, Sampson) is the sponsor of legislation introduced May 2 requiring state agencies to adopt zero-based budgeting. (Hopefully, this is not merely an election-year gimmick that will disappear once the last votes are counted in November.)  Here is part of Burgin’s pitch:

Ok. Item (d) does sound a little bit weaselly.  So does a section later on in the bill which splits most of the state agencies into four groups. Each group would start the zero-based budgeting in a set year (2024, 2026, 2028, or 2030).  After their first assigned year, the bill says the agencies would not have to do it again for another EIGHT YEARS.

This looks like game-playing. Why not start the practice right away and have all state government entities partake in it at the same time?

C’mon folks.  THIS idea, right year, is a textbook example of how to show respect for your constituents and their money. (Especially if you make everyone start it right away and have to do it every two years.). It would at least give the impression that Raleigh gives a hoot about responsible use of taxpayer funds.