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Want or need?

Created: 12/27/16 (Tue) | Topic: Issues

December 27, 2016: What we want? Or what we need? The 2017 Legislative Assembly is coming soon and one of the biggest hurdles legislators face is the budget. NDFB has a position on budgeting that coincides with Governor Burgum.

Download the Session budget impression mp3.

Read the transcript:

Big bucks or no bucks. And no, I’m not talking about fulfilling your bow tag at the end of deer season. These are decisions about dollars within our government that’s going to happen within the next few months as we come into the 2017 Legislative Session in North Dakota.

It was refreshing, during the campaign cycle, to hear now-governor Burgum talk about zero-based budgeting. We just so happen to have policy here at NDFB which states, and I quote, “We support responsible state budgeting beginning with a zero-based budget for state agencies.” End quote.

It seems that we line up pretty closely with Governor Burgum’s policies on how he’s going to conduct business at the state level, and how our members think the responsibility should be held by the agencies within the state level of government.

What is zero-based budgeting, you might be asking? It’s nothing different than what each and every family is tasked with doing in their own households. Here’s a quick definition of zero-based budgeting: It’s a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period.

Zero-based budgeting starts from a zero base and every function is analyzed for its needs and costs. Or in government, for its needs and benefits for the dollars spent that we as citizens entrust to the state to provide the services that we need. Let’s keep that word in mind in this definition: The needs and the costs associated with those needs.

And we have an administration, a governor’s office, that is talking our language, justifying every need and every cost to determine whether we’re doing something just because that’s the way we’ve done it for decades, or whether we’re doing something that the citizens of North Dakota truly need and can’t do for themselves.

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