Proos introduces two-year budget plan

LANSING – State Sen. John Proos introduced a resolution Wednesday to take a long-term approach to government spending by adopting a two-year state budget plan.

“Too much time is spent debating the state budget each year. A two-year approach is a long-term solution for many of the state’s budget problems,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Jobs must be our first priority. Annual budget battles only take our focus off creating jobs. Implementing a biennial budget has proven successful in other states and units of government across Michigan, helping to eliminate short-sighted solutions and political games.”

Proos noted that his measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, mirrors his previous efforts in the House to implement a two-year budget. Last session his initiative was House Concurrent Resolution 15, which was not adopted, despite being embraced by the Democratic governor and speaker.

“Governor Rick Snyder has endorsed the idea of two-year budgets, as did governors Engler and Granholm. I look forward to making this a reality this year, so that we can move forward on saving taxpayer dollars,” said Proos, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Biennial budgeting and planning for our future will also give our schools and local governments the budgetary certainty they need. Given the state’s economy and fiscal situation, it just makes sense.”

Proos noted 44 states began biennial budgeting in 1940, and about half as many do so currently. There is strong evidence that biennial budgeting is more conducive to program review and evaluation.

SCR 4 has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.