Mon June 17, 2013
Budget Includes High Number Of Non-Fiscal Policy Items
Non-fiscal policy typically includes stuff that has no effect on the state's bottom line — the kind of plans that would normally be introduced as standalone bills. Governors and legislatures add it to the budget for different reasons, but often it's because it has a better chance of passing there than it would on its own.
When the governor introduced his budget earlier this year he included 58 policy items, according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB). The legislature's Joint Finance Committee got rid of 23 but added 59, ending up with 94 pieces of policy in the budget.
Ninety-four is on the high side. Numbers from LFB director Bob Lang show it's more than last session when Republicans had added 78 non-fiscal policy items to the budget at this point. It's also more than when Democrats were in charge: They added 83 pieces of policy to the budget at this stage in 2009.
It's also far more than in 2007 when just 30 pieces of policy were included in the budget that cleared the Joint Finance Committee. That year the legislature was under split control and had a hard time agreeing on much of anything.
Economy and Business