Chambers Suggest Budget Solutions
Monday I blogged about the Pew Center study on State budgets. The underlying message - we've got a mess to contend with. But chambers can do more than join the hand wringing, they can (and should) suggest smart cuts and budgetary solutions. Here are two recent examples:
The Salt Lake Chamber has proposed a strategy to close the budget gap by cutting spending and tapping rainy day funds. Their plan preserves spending for K-12 and higher education and stops short of calling for any new taxes. Chamber chief operating officer Natalie Gochnour was quoted as saying:
"We believe that balancing the budget is easy. The hard part is doing it in a way that enables our economy to grow long term. So we tried to outline budget recommendations that would sustain our economy."
Read more in this article from the Salt Lake Tribune: Chamber outlines ways to cut state deficit
The Kentucky Chamber has also been an active proponent of closing the budget gap through smart spendingcuts and structural changes. They recently called for a re-examination of state employee health benefits as an opportunity for cost savings. David Adkisson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber and Chair of ACCE said:
"The budget outlook is grim, and we believe reasonable changes in public employee health benefits could generate nearly $200 million in savings in the 2010-12 budget."
Read more about the Kentucky Chamber's proposal in this article from the Lexington Herald-Leader - Chamber: State workers should pay higher premiums
What proactive steps is your organization making to identify smart state budget solutions? Leave a comment below.