Touching base once more on budget issues here in Montana. Once again I will begin with the state sharpening their pencils so to speak where spending is concerned. This alone will save us millions of dollars off the budget. I have been looking into the money our state motor pool spends. Over 30 million a year. In looking into this I will give credit where it is due. They have been doing just what I believe needs to be done. Sharpening their pencils. The motor pool has been searching for a means to better keep up with state owned vehicles, their use and cost to the state and abusive use by state employees of these vehicles which also cost us money. I will push for even closer watch of this area in this department along with every other department of the state government. Most all of us want to see the government spending cut, yet many do not understand why I push so hard for this. Simply put, with a budget like ours, if we can eliminate obvious waste we can save millions of dollars. When inflation rates are figured in, this adds up to a very nice amount of savings without a battle over cut this or cut that. Which in reality is a budget cut and the good part is everything remains in place at the same level of services.
Our next step is to look for overlapping departments and services. As these are found (even the smallest of overlaps) we eliminate those. Some services and departments could even be combined into one. This gives us the same service with less state employees and management cost. Thus more savings which equals more budget cuts. Reworking forms used by agencies to eliminate repeated questions and correspondence reduces paper, printing cost and man-hours = More savings = more budget cuts. Moving the state to hemp based paper products and enforcing a mandatory recycling effort on the all levels of state government once again adds savings which = budget cuts.
I will in near future postings get into areas to adjust state programs so we are creating better programs for growth and thus decreasing the demand for dependence on the government. These decreases and cuts would not be done out of cruelty or throwing people under the bus, but because we would have created an environment where the are not as heavily needed.