Committee Holds Hearing on Saylor Bill to Implement Performance-Based Budgeting in Pennsylvania

The House State Government Committee today held a hearing on House Bill 726, legislation by House Majority Whip Stan Saylor (R-York), to implement a performance-based budgeting system in Pennsylvania. 

Saylor, who originally introduced the bill in 2009, said he decided to offer the legislation after seeing the success other states are having with performance-based budgeting. 

“As chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, I held two hearings on the performance-based budgeting concept,” said Saylor.  “I was impressed with the success of performance based budgeting systems in a number of states, including large states like Texas and Florida.  If other states are realizing cost savings by using a performance-based model, there is no reason we can’t do the same thing here in Pennsylvania.” 

Saylor said a performance-based budgeting system requires state agencies to set measurable goals and report actual results back to the Legislature.  Budget decisions are made based on the ability of programs to meet stated goals. 

“I have said repeatedly that we need to examine state spending to determine which programs are working and which are not,” said Saylor.  “The performance-based budgeting model gives us a workable way to make that happen.”  

Today’s hearing included testimony from Peter Tartline, deputy secretary of the budget, who noted that for a shift to a performance-based budgeting model to work, it will require a collaborative effort on the part of the executive and legislative branches. 

“If the importance of linking funding to performance is consistently reinforced, we will see the cultural change necessary to bring about continuously improving efficiency and effectiveness in government programs,” Tartline said. 

The committee also heard testimony from Bob Williams, private sector chair of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council.  Williams said the move to performance-based budgeting is not a partisan issue and that Saylor’s bill is a model to ask the right questions and prioritize state spending. 

“It provides a logical place to begin meaningful debate,” Williams said.  “Cash-strapped states will find that this process greatly increases spending efficiency and economy.” 

Also testifying at today’s hearing were: 

  • David Sarcone, associate professor of international business and management, Dickinson College.
  • Maurice P. McTigue, vice president of the Mercauts Center and director of the Government Accountability Project at George Mason University.
  • Michael Golda, instructor of performance management at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. 

State Representative Stan Saylor
94th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Sean Yeakle

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