Monday was Reform Day for the Senate Ways & Means Committee as representatives from the State Auditor and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee reported on oversight they offer state government and the savings they provide. Reports from JLARC and the State Auditor are seen as valuable tools in eliminating waste and abuse in state government. Charged with examining those reports is Sen. Nick Harper, who has worked with Sen. Jim Hargrove to ensure that the work of the agencies is not wasted.
Sen. Harper: “Both of these bodies provide a tremendous amount of transparency both for the Legislature and for the general public to understand how the Legislature and how state government and its agencies are performing, most of which we have taken under advisement and enacted in one form or another.”
In fact, 90 percent of JLARC and Auditor recommendations have been put into practice, but Hargrove says that high number is not a reason to stop scouring government for savings.
Sen. Hargrove: “It still doesn’t mean that there aren’t things we really need to do, because the future biennia’s are just as much in jeopardy and if we don’t make some of those tough decisions this time, we’re going to be back in the same problem here next biennia too.”
In addition to looking for savings in agency reports, Hargrove and Harper have assembled a list of reforms in Corrections, Education and other areas of state government that will be examined by the Legislature in the coming weeks. While they may not provide a “silver bullet” to erase the state’s current budget shortfall, those reforms could save hundreds of millions of dollars in future budgets.