Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Linville: reforms underway, more needed

State government needs to realign itself with today’s new economic reality—that’s the message Rep. Kelli Linville (Bellingham) delivered in an op-ed over the weekend to the Bellingham Herald.

The Ways & Means Committee leader notes that reform is actually an ongoing practice in the budget process, although it rarely grabs the headlines. Reforms in recent years for long-term care, childhood vaccine purchasing, business permitting, and the juvenile justice system have sought to wring more value from taxpayer dollars.

That being said, the severity of today’s worldwide economic crisis means reforms must go even further, Linville says. “The Legislature's top priority now is realigning government with today's new economic reality so that it works better for the people we represent,” she writes.

To that end, the Ways & Means Committee is engaged in a substantive reform effort this legislative interim. As we mentioned earlier today, the committee is meeting to discuss reform efforts on education, health care, performance-based contracting, information technology and more. In May, the committee held two reform work sessions (agenda one, agenda two) open to all members of the House, where budget and audit experts presented potential reform methods, and legislators discussed their own reform ideas.

Interested in receiving notice of meeting dates and agendas? Sign up for the committee’s email list here.