State Budget Reform Toolkit

Policy Study

State Budget Reform Toolkit

Today, states face structural deficits created by overspending. Most of the legislative “fixes” over the past few years for state budget gaps have merely postponed or obscured the problems rather than addressing them directly.

The State Budget Reform Toolkit-a joint project of the American Legislative Exchange Council, Reason Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Washington Policy Center, Evergreen Freedom Foundation and State Budget Solutions-offers a practical set of budget and procurement best practices to guide state policymakers as they work to solve the current budget shortfalls, assisting legislators in prioritizing and more efficiently delivering core government services through advancing Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.

Topics covered in the State Budget Reform Toolkit include:

  • Priority-Based Budgeting/Budgeting for Outcomes
  • State Pension Reform
  • Privatization and Competitive Contracting
  • State Tax and Spending Limitations
  • Balanced Budget Requirements
  • Non-Partisan Revenue Forecasts and Independent Budget Certification
  • Performance Assessment and Management
  • Performance Audits
  • Independent Recovery Audits
  • Budget Transparency
  • Budget Timeouts
  • The Item-Reduction Veto
  • Sunset Review Processes for State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions
  • State Privatization and Efficiency Councils
  • Statewide Real Property Inventories
  • State Hiring Freezes
  • Restructuring State Retiree Health Care Plans
  • Activity-Based Costing
  • Employee Incentive/Gainsharing Programs, and more.