Exciting Budget Conference


At the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Conference in New Orleans last week, I attended a state budgeting/spending seminar that was stunning!

The incoming Speaker of the House in Florida, the Honorable Ray Sansom, spoke of trimming $7 billion from a $66 billion state budget… without any thought of raising taxes.  Sansom explained “why make it harder on businesses in a downturn?”

He said that Florida has no intention of borrowing their way out of a downturn, and in reconciling the budget with lower revenues: “we’re not making ‘cuts,’ we’re spending the money we have.”

These are clearly refreshing ideas that would turn Augusta on its head! 

But the best concept that Speaker Sansom talked about was the Florida Sunset Law.  On a rotating basis, every state agency is abolished every eight years.  Eliminated…  Kaput! 

The leaders then have to re-introduce the need for each state agency.   If approved, the “new” agency has an updated mission, a modernized structure, new goals and benchmarks, plus clear ways to measure achievements, productivity and success.

If Maine had a Sunset Law – do you suppose we would still be funding a couple of high paying jobs to oversee the safe operation of the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant?


(HINT: It was decommissioned eleven years ago!)