Georgia House moves on zero-based budgeting

The Georgia House passed HB 33, legislation enacting zero-based budgeting – a process that requires departments of state government and programs to justify their spending, yesterday in a 126 to 45 vote:

The House measure calls for each department, including the Legislature, to come up for review every six years instead of every three. The current joint fiscal affairs committee, which typically meets each May, would decide what departments come up for scrutiny each year, with the first appearing for fiscal year 2013 that begins next year.

The bill also sunsets the requirement in 2019 – or six years in from the start date – just in case the expected savings don’t appear.

At least one savings should come from the proposal. It combines the separate budget offices of the House and Senate, projected to save $1 million a year.

“I think this is the best way to get at waste in spending,” said sponsor Stephen Allison, R-Blairsville. “This is something we can do, and I think we ought to give it a shot.”

And Sonny Perdue, ever the fiscal fraud, isn’t around to veto it like he did last year.