In a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, Brookings Institution scholars Matthew Murray and Mark Muro urge California Gov. Jerry Brown to look to Utah for ideas on how to reform California's planning and budgeting process.
While the two states' economies are not exactly the same, a look at Utah's process is informative. There, planning and budgeting are done through a well-informed collaborative process. Budget requests from state agencies are tied to performance measures and aligned with a state strategic plan. Everyone works from the same budget data, uses agreed-upon targets, and aligns priorities in accordance with that strategic plan. Public access to all fiscal and process information is completely open, so everyone can understand what's going on.
This system helped Utah's governor and Legislature close a projected budget gap in a more strategic manner than a slash-spending approach would have done.