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Letter to the Editor: Sen. Patrick Colbeck Says New Bills Limit Government

Colbeck says SB 802 requires all state departments to disclose tax dollars are spent; SB 21 offers 'a valuable tool to rein in government spending.'

Dear Editor, 

Ever wonder where all of your state taxpayer dollars go? I do. In fact, it was one of the questions that led me to run for office. As a concerned citizen, I had requested state spending information from our representatives. I was frustrated by the lack of useful information provided in response to my queries. Upon entering into public service myself, I understand why my previous requests met with such poor results. They didn’t have access to the information either. 

Thankfully, the lack of useful spending data has now been addressed with the passage of SB 802, which I introduced to require all state departments to publicly disclose how they are spending our money. The spending plans for each department in state government will soon be posted online for all 10,000,000 citizens of Michigan to review and analyze. 

Each state department will be responsible for defining their core services (i.e. the reason for their existence), their support services (i.e. IT, HR, Accounting, Legal...or overhead), and their work projects (i.e. their investments towards the improvement of their core and/or support services). For each service or work project, we will be able to see how much is spent on salaries, benefits, contracts and more. 

Coupled with the passage of Senator Tonya Schuitmaker's SB 21 regarding metrics, we will now have the first statutory basis in our state’s history for determining the price of government services and engage in "value for money" appropriations discussions! 

This new public act will promote limited government by providing us with a valuable tool to rein in government spending. In addition, it will arm legislators and residents with the data we need to manage our government services more like a business so that we maximize the value of every tax dollar that we spend and improve customer service. 

It is my hope that the availability of this information will also help open the door to more civil, bi-partisan discussions of spending priorities in state government …and perhaps even to set the stage for such discussions to occur at the federal level. 

Sen. Patrick Colbeck
Canton 

Bruce Koldys January 10, 2013 at 01:31 PM
After pushing through Right to Work through lame duck and gutting employees pensions and health care, pushing through a hugh corporate tax break windfall, a Republican speaking of civil bi-partisian discussions is like Jaws saying to the swimmers on the beach "can't we all just get along". Get real.
Tony Lollio January 12, 2013 at 02:33 AM
I love how your comment has nothing to do with the subject of his piece, witty though. Those civil bipartisan discussions you're joking about don't really exist, the first two comments on this thread prove it.

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