Following up on the Rural Hope Initiative, BRAC Budget Reform is the Second Installment of Bev's Building a New North Carolina series
Two weeks ago Bev announced her Building a New North Carolina series here on BlueNC. Yesterday, the campaign released the second installment of Building a New North Carolina, BRAC Budget Reform. This initiative is modeled after the federal BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) process. It is a major budget reform that will reduce the influence of special interests, allow us to eliminate wasteful spending and enable us to focus spending on our most pressing needs.
The federal BRAC process is intensively competitive with each state fighting for their own military bases. But since the beginning of the process in the late ‘80s, Congress has never blocked a BRAC package. The required up-or-down vote with no amendments is an especially good tool to bypass the barriers of special interest influence that often stymie policy change in the legislative process.
Here is how it would work in North Carolina:
The governor would appoint an independent committee of 15 citizens to serve on the BRAC Budget Reform Board. In the first year of each 2-year budget cycle, the Board would present a maximum of ten government efficiency proposals. The proposals would then be presented to legislators and the public for comment. The Board could then revise, add or omit proposals. Finally, the House and Senate would be required to vote separately on each proposal before they passed their own version of the budget. Each vote would be subject to a Yes or No only vote with no amendments allowed.
Bev’s goal for BRAC Budget Reform is savings of at least $250 million per budget. That will free up money for critical investments in education, transportation, health care and the environment.