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Monday, January 31, 2011 - 3:24am

House Unveils Zero-Based Budget Bill

A new bill requiring zero-based budgeting will be introduced in the state House today. The move comes after the state Senate last week overrode a veto of former Governor Sonny Perdue on a similar measure. At issue is whether the vetoed bill would be legal.

Currently budgets for state entities are set based on the money they had the previous year. Zero-based budgeting would require some of the agencies to justify their budgets from the ground up. Some lawmakers say it's a method to identify waste in government. A bill requiring zero-based budgeting passed last year, but was vetoed by Perdue. Then last week the Senate overrode that veto, but House Speaker David Ralston says he’d rather start from scratch.

"It is our feeling here in the House that we do have a new administration. The House is more interested in working today and moving forward with Governor Deal rather than fighting yesterday's battle with a governor who is no longer in this building and has gone home."

Ralston says the old bill would have applied to the budget already in play this year and could have caused complications for Governor Deal. The new measure would apply to future budgets.

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