Using Zero-Based Budgeting in Texas

Zero-based budgeting isn’t easy, however, and hasn’t been used by the state of Texas for the last nine years. While the process of zero-based budgeting provides the people’s elected legislative representatives with a thorough understanding of how and why every taxpayer dollar is spent, this understanding comes at the cost of a strenuous investment of time from both agency administrators and lawmakers. A key part of making zero-based budgeting a success includes reviewing all aspects of an agency or program including its purpose and goals as well as the metrics used to gauge success or effectiveness. Lastly, it is important to avoid the common pitfall of putting the same people or interests who might be impacted by program changes, consolidations or eliminations in charge of their own review.

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