Saturday, June 23, 2007

Reforming Illinios Government- Part One

The one thing that Governor Blagojevich and his supports is right about is that the Government of the State of Illinois needs a massive overhaul, but they are wrong about how to go about, the Governor and his backers want to expanded state spending and entitlement programs and increase the amount of taxes that the state charges and collects. This post is going to be the first of multi-post discussion on how the government of the State of Illinois can be reformed to make it more effective and less costly for the public, any comments or suggestion are welcome.

To start out with the state needs to undertake a massive review of every state agency and program, to see if they are really needed and then if they are the next question to be gone over is if multiple programs or agencies or department are performing the same of similar functions and if they are would it be more cost effective. Each Department, Agency and Program would then have it operations reviewed to evaluate how cost effective they are and make suggestion on how they can be improved. Along with this an element of cost-benefits and return on investment analysis would be performed on all new state project and state programs, while because of the nature of government and public project and programs cost-benefits and return on investment can not be the sole decider of whether or not a public project or program should be enacted like in the private economy, but it can still be very use on provide information on if the benefits of project or program out weight it costs and can be used to compare projects and program when it comes to making decision on what programs should be funded and how much funding they should get.

On the opposite end of consolidating duplicate programs into one department or agency, some programs should also be evaluated to see if it would be more cost effective to decentralized and instead of administrating them at the state or higher level if they should be administrated at the county or regional level. Or it in some cases program might be better managed and more effective if instead of the state running them if they gave grants to the county and metropolitan governments to run the programs themselves.

The Illinois Revenue and debt structure also needs a complete review, the Illinois tax system needs to be reformed and tax burden on the public reduced and the economic distortions that are caused by taxes need to be minimized. How the state funds education needs to be reviewed, many people want to break the link between property taxes and education funding, but the problem with that is currently there is relationship between property taxes, educational quality and housing values. Districts with higher property taxes tend to have better school system and the better school system tends raise housing values, by an amount about equal to what they pay in property taxes. If you break this link, it might become harder to get people to support the same level of taxes to fund schools because those people that don’t have children lose one of the benefits of having good schools.

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