The bait of “free” federal money has enticed state agencies to create and expand programs, which has significantly increased state spending to match federal money. Citizens and taxpayers should be encouraged that the governor's secretary of finance and revenue and chief budget negotiator, Preston Doerflinger, wants to see the state approach spending based on both performance- and priority-based budgeting. Equally encouraging, lawmakers are turning their attention to total state spending with the creation of House and Senate committees to review nonappropriated spending.
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report shows there is much work left to do to focus government spending on core functions.
Small is fiscal policy director at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (www.ocpathink.org).