SB 1 provides changes to Georgia’s budget act requiring a purported zero-based budgeting methodology to be applied to a fraction of all state programs annually and for all programs once every four years. Georgia first attempted this budget methodology in the 1970s under Governor Jimmy Carter and has abandoned it since that time. A survey of states finds that of the states that currently maintain this methodology in their statutes all have effectively abandoned the practice because of the additional bureaucratic process and overhead while producing few identifiable results. Additionally, SB 1 does not change the budget process employed by the General Assembly (which could employ zero-based budgeting in its budget process under current law if it so chose). Instead, SB 1 requires state agencies to administer dual budget processes concurrently, the new and the current budget process, to be implemented immediately for the upcoming budget cycle. It is not technically feasible to reprogram state information technology systems or to provide resources for this endeavor on the timeline stated in the bill. While SB 1 is motivated by an admirable goal, the realities of Georgia’s and other states’ experiences have demonstrated few results worth the overhead associated with this new process. Moreover, anyone familiar with the budget process I have employed during my eight years as Governor knows that I and my staff examine all facets of each agency’s budget each year. Because existing law provides sufficient flexibility to conduct a searching examination of each agency’s budget, and because SB 1 unnecessarily imposes new bureaucracy and restrictions on the Executive function of submitting budget requests, I VETO SB 1. I have already committed to work with supporters of the legislation to formalize Executive Branch policies that are consistent with the goals of this legislation.
Let the bloat live on! And, Sonny, I’m curious: how will your formalization of “Executive Branch policies” be binding in any way on the next guy to sit in your chair? That right, I forgot:
You. Don’t. Care.