Recent Policy Briefs

Performance-Based Budgeting and Activities-Based Costing

Performance-based budgeting would require state government to develop quantifiable measures for all functions and then allocate tax dollars based on the effectiveness of meeting performance goals. Activities-based costing allocates tax dollars in a consistent and uniform manner. The Murphy Commission, a Policy Foundation project recommended both ideas in 1998.

Policymakers Weighing Tax Changes Would Benefit From Dynamic Analysis

(October 12, 2009) State revenues from a 2008 severance tax hike are short of the official estimate due to deflation in the natural gas market. But a 30 percent cut in the state capital gains tax in 19991 led to revenues greater than the estimate due to increased economic activity.

Both episodes—a decade apart—underscore that policymakers weighing tax proposals would benefit from dynamic analysis, an attempt to measure the full effect of fiscal policy on revenue estimates.

Use Performance Reviews to Identify Cost Savings

Government accountability has taken on new meaning. Units of government are accountable when they explain to citizens the services they receive from tax dollars, how spending effects citizens' lives or those of loved ones, and whether programs are efficient or wasteful. Performance reviews should be part of this accountability process.

Obamacare for CT to Bust Budget

Marc Kilmer

In 2009, the Connecticut General Assembly overrode a veto by Governor Jodi Rell and passed an ambitious health care proposal called SustiNet. The dramatic final vote came after a years long campaign funded by tens of millions of dollars by the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. The bill created a state commission to develop a plan to expand government health care and report back to the legislature in 2011.

Defend Charter Schools

Charter schools are public schools free from some oversight and regulation. They are approved by the state Board of Education, and operated by teachers, parents or other qualified individuals. Charter restrictions were liberalized in 1999, 2005 and 2007.

Some Little Rock public school officials threaten legal action to turn back the clock on this education reform. Their message to the U.S.: Arkansas is not serious about education reform.

Local PLAs bite the hand feeding the beast

Jim Waters
Prejudice at the lunch counter may have disappeared, but other types of discrimination remain alive and well in America – and have surprising supporters.