After the experience of the last three or four state budgets, one Wisconsin lawmaker says it may be time to consider a new system. Republican state senator Dan Kapanke says he plans to introduce the "Sunshine Budgeting Act" in order to restore fiscal accountability and transparency.
The first of three main parts of the act would be the biggest change, requiring the state to budget as they do in Minnesota, which is to pass a seperate budget for each department. Kapanke says that would allow for smaller budget documents, so money could be more easily tracked throug the process.
As an example, Kapanke says lawmakers would pass a DNR budget, then a DOT budget, then a budget for education. Kapanke says this has the added benefit of being able to get a budget passed when it's needed. He says schools inparticular could benefit from knowing earlier how much money is coming.
The second part of the act would establish a results based budgeting method. Essentially, Departments would need to justify the dollars they want to spend in order to accomplish a mission or meet a goal.
The third part of the act would attempt to stop the appropriation of segregated funds, such as from the patients compensation fund, or from the highway department.
Kapanke says he realizes this a change from business as usual, but feels it is workable and will be an easier system. He is currently working on the final draft of the "Sunshine Budgeting Act" and is seeking to garner support from colleagues.