Sen. David Shafer today released the following statement for use at a news conference called by Americans for Prosperity and The 912 Project supporting Senate Bill 1, the Zero Based Budget Act, and Senate Bill 148, the Legislative Sunset Commission Act.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR DAVID SHAFER
Regrettably, my schedule does not permit to attend the news conference called today by my friends from Americans for Prosperity and The 912 Project. However, I join them in strongly and publicly urging Governor Perdue to sign Senate Bill 1, the Zero Based Budget Act.
Senate Bill 1 ends the system of “continuation” budgeting under which appropriations approved one year are automatically rolled over into next year’s budget under a single line item labeled “continuation.” This system, which effectively hides 95% or more of each year’s budget from public view, makes it difficult to identify spending programs that are no longer needed.
Senate Bill 1 requires ¼ of the budget to be rebuilt from scratch each year, so that over a four year period of time, the entire budget is re-justified.
Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate and House unanimously, with the support of both Democrats and Republicans. Although there was absolutely no opposition to this bill as it moved through the legislative process, some have apparently argued that zero based budgeting will inconvenience budget officials of the Executive Branch, burdening them with additional work. I urge the Governor to reject this outlandish line of thinking, sign Senate Bill 1 and secure for himself a legacy of putting the taxpayer first.
I also join my friends from Americans for Prosperity and The 192 Project in urging the Governor to sign Senate Bill 149, the Legislative Sunset Commission Act. Originally written to require periodic review of occupational licensing boards to determine whether they are still needed, it was amended by the House to extend the same review to virtually all state departments and agencies. I want to thank the broad coalition of organizations who supported one or both of these bills, including Americans for Prosperity, The 912 Project, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, Atlanta Tea Party, Tea Party Patriots, Libertarian Party of Georgia and Georgia Conservative Party, as well as numerous district and county conventions of the Georgia Republican Party.