Changing the Budget Year

The always-thoughtful Vivian Paige raises a question: should the Virginia budget cycle be changed?

Now, the incoming Governor has only a short period of time to put together a budget. Occasionally, as with this year’s little snafu over the distribution of sales tax, haste makes waste. (We’ll be returning to Richmond on Monday to clean it up for this year.

But should governors be given an entire year in office before they prepare a biennial budget? On the one hand, it gives them and their staff the time to prepare a budget that truly lays out their priorities.

It also would put budget adoption in an election year for Delegates and Senators. Anyone want to guess how many times we’d go into overtime if that occurred?

On the other hand, the cycle would delay accountability for any governor. For the first year and a half, he or she could say, “Hey, it’s not my fault. Blame the other guy.”

So what do you think?

4 thoughts on “Changing the Budget Year”

  1. Interesting discussion. I’d need to learn more about the process to fully understand the impact enough to have an opinion.

    But one initial thought—is it really healthy for the priorities of Virginia to have legislators voting on the budget in election year? Then again, a vote on a budget can be used either way anytime after the vote. But still, the idea of election year budget votes makes me think of too much political consideration in budgeting and not enough setting valid priorities and funding consideration.

    Just an initial thought, mind you.

  2. Actually, I am remiss in not noting that this was Sen. Cuccinelli’s bill. (I did so on Vivian’s site.) Doug, you’re probably right about the issues related to election-year budgeteering. I must say this is one issue I can argue either way.

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