House State Government Committee Examines Grove Government Streamlining Proposals
2/16/2012
HARRISBURG – The House State Government Committee held a hearing yesterday to examine several legislative proposals that would streamline Pennsylvania state government, including two measures put forth by Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) – House Bill 249 and House Bill 250.

“One thing my constituents have made abundantly clear is that it is my job as their legislator to be a watchdog of government spending,” said Grove. “No department, agency, bureau or legislative office can be immune from this microscope. We must revolutionize the way we fund state government programs if we want to reverse our current economic stagnation.”

To view Grove’s video comments about the legislation, visit http://youtu.be/vxAL_T4BW94

House Bill 249 would create a Legislative Budget, Finance and Audit Committee, made up of members of the House and Senate who will scrutinize state spending to look for money-saving tactics by reorganizing, consolidating, reducing duplication, improving the use of state-owned property, increasing responsiveness to citizens and streamlining procurement processes. This committee also would develop recommendations to the General Assembly when Pennsylvania is facing a budget shortfall and would scrutinize each program and agency to ensure it has a constitutional basis for creation.

During the hearing, Philip Durgin, executive director of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC), expressed that his organization could not handle the requirements of House Bill 249, given its current staffing and funding levels. Grove agreed to work with the LBFC to fine tune his legislation by reviewing measures taken in other states to reduce the cost of operating state government.

House Bill 250 would establish the Council on Efficient Government to review state programs and advise the General Assembly as to those services state government should consider privatizing, based on a cost-benefit analysis.

Jennifer Stefano from Americans for Prosperity testified at the hearing, calling House Bill 250, “a critical step,” toward privatizing certain government services to save taxpayer dollars.

In her written testimony, Stefano wrote, “Identifying areas where the private sector can perform government functions more efficiently and at a lower cost can be an important part of the budget solution. A wealth of studies by government agencies, academics and think tanks have consistently shown that privatization can lower the costs of government service delivery between 10 to 25 percent, on average.”

“The era of protecting bureaucratic fiefdoms has come to end,” said Grove. “We must strive to reduce government costs, while continuing to provide Pennsylvania taxpayers with quality public service. It is imperative that we seek innovate strategies to get Pennsylvania back on the right financial track. We can avoid painful spending cuts and increasing taxes if we carefully examine our balance sheets and appropriately restructure government programs.”

Both of Grove’s bills are awaiting a vote in the House State Government Committee.

More information about Grove and his legislative proposals is available at RepGrove.com or Facebook.com/RepSethGrove.

State Representative Seth Grove
196th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Nicole Wamsley
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
717.783.8063
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