The Department of Legislative Services has recommended striking a provision in the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) of 2012 that would allow the Governor to flat fund program areas in the budget at the FY 2012 level, with the exception of public education, retirement contributions, and the rainy day fund. MACo, in its testimony before the Senate and House budget committees expressed concern with this language. From MACo’s testimony:
Flat Funding at the FY 2012 Level – Section 15 of SB 152 would create an uncodified but
sweeping provision essentially overriding nearly all formula or statutory direction of funding for the
next five year period. The Department of Legislative Services has been unable to fully quantify the far
reaching implications of this proposed amendment, but its effects could be among the most profound
of the BRFA legislation. MACo urges the General Assembly to focus on the State budget situation
and the reasonable extension of today’s economic climate, rather than make permanent the long-term
policy decisions that may upend policy priorities even beyond the current fiscal challenges. Budget driven
suspension of identified formulas is a reasonable component of a budget reconciliation bill, but
a multi-year elimination of an undefined list of programs extends beyond the reasonable breadth of this
year’s budget reconciliation.
Similar language was struck from last year’s BRFA by the General Assembly.