A recent study by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has found that the Maryland Department of Legislative Services (DLS) performs exceedingly well when estimating the costs of proposed legislation. Maryland is one of only five states to follow all of the best practices mentioned in the study.
From the Baltimore Sun,
Fiscal notes give lawmakers estimates of the costs of proposed laws. In Maryland, preparing such notes for the General Assembly is the job of analysts at the officially nonpartisan Department of Legislative Services.
The study finds that some state legislatures are essentially flying blind on the budget implications of the policies they set. A dozen states do not even prepare costs estimates on all bills.
In addition to following all best practices, DLS also ranked high for its process.
The study found that Maryland legislative analysts:
–Are free from partisan pressure when preparing their report.
–Project long-term as well as the immediate budget impacts of proposals.
–Revise their projections when bills are substantially amended.
–Post their fiscal notes online.