The Honorable Tom McClintock
State Senate of California
Room 3070, State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Senator McClintock:
On behalf of the more than 52,000 California members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in support of your bill, SB 971, which would establish a "Bureaucracy Realignment and Closure Commission" to eliminate wasteful programs. Taxpayers deserve efficient government, and by helping to identify and eliminate unnecessary bureaucracies, SB 971 would make government more cost-effective.
California faces a staggering $14 billion budget deficit in 2008, a problem which is exacerbated by the existence of dozens of agencies and programs that are ineffective, duplicative, or simply unnecessary. These programs add to the budget imbalance and make it more difficult to fund government's core functions. SB 971 provides a mechanism for addressing this problem without politicizing it.
The bill creates a panel similar to the military's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission, a system in which the U.S. Congress votes on a broad reorganization package. BRAC enjoys considerable success because it prevents parochial political concerns from bringing down vital reforms. California would benefit greatly from its own version of BRAC, targeted at the bloated bureaucracy.
The commission established by SB 971 will independently evaluate bureaucracies and hold three public hearings in order to solicit input on the future of those agencies. After the evaluation process, the committee will submit a report of final recommendations on Jan. 1, 2010. After approval in its entirety by the Governor, the recommendations would become law within 60 days of submission unless the Legislature enacts a resolution of disapproval.
Efficiency in government is a value shared by people from all points on the political spectrum. Addressing unnecessary waste in the budget will help to ease California's future deficit woes, and your bill would constitute a large step in the right direction. We commend your efforts and look forward to working with you to bring fiscal responsibility to Sacramento.
Government Affairs Manager
cc: Senate Appropriations Committee