The National Governors Association (NGA) recently hosted a National Summit on Government Redesign: Solutions for Making Tough Budget Choices, bringing together senior officials from more than 20 states and territories who support governors in making budgetary choices. The resulting message from the meeting is that governors and the states they lead continue to make the hard choices required by difficult economic times and citizens’ demand for improvement in service delivery.
The meeting built upon NGA’s efforts over the last three years to document the fiscal problems confronting states and to provide policymakers with opportunities to hear from one another and outside experts about how states are addressing those problems. The meeting summary reports on the recent efforts by states to live within the means dictated by slow growth while also providing taxpayers a better return on their investment.
In large part, success in meeting the current challenges posed by tight budgets is being achieved because governors are advocating solutions that:
- Demonstrate flexibility and accept innovation;
- Measure program success by results achieved rather than dollars spent; and
- Strive to address long-term objectives while also making the budgetary changes necessary to ensure the immediate fiscal health of their states.