Novel concept for new program accountability

From the Oregon Senate Republicans:

Senate Bill 1065, heard in the Senate Rules Committee Thursday morning, would create a new level of performance monitoring in government programs and agencies by simply forcing a six year sunset on every new program, tax or fee. The legislature would then be required to review the effectiveness of the program, tax or fee every six years before renewing the sunset.

“Without sunsets, it is easy for a bad program to exist for eternity, lost in the dust and cobwebs of government’s corners,” said Senator Jackie Winters (R-Salem), sponsor of the bill. “We need a way that ensures every program is being reviewed and examined on a regular basis, so inefficient programs can get the axe instead of quietly continuing to waste taxpayer dollars.”

The bill’s intent is to make sure that programs are functioning as they were originally intended. This means taking the time to intentionally review these programs. Under the bill, legislators would be required to continually renew a program’s sunset every six years, forcing a regular review of its validity. The bill would also establish a Sunset Advisory Commission that would be charged with reviewing and evaluation state agencies, programs, taxes and fees that are administered by the state.

“Government grows like a weed on miracle grow, while taxpayers are sent larger and larger bills,” said Winters. “I think it is wise to slow down a little and make sure things are operating like they should, instead of taking it for granted.”

The bill is waiting for a work session in the Senate Rules Committee.