Best Budget Practices For Legislators

Scott Pattison, the executive director of National Association of Budget Officers, in an interview with the Mercatus Center brought to light the most important question he feels legislators need to answer. How do you smooth a volatile revenue stream?

The answer, he says, is to think about the long term. To do that state officials need to curb spending in the boom years and save up for the future when economy might go through a rough period. This can only be possible if there are certain policies in place. However, this is very difficult, politically. In fact, there is not one state that has been good at saving in the past for unforeseen expenditures in the future.

In other rules, lawmakers need a set of guardrails to help them practice fiscal restraint.