STATE HOUSE – State Representative Doreen Costa (R-North Kingstown, Exeter) introduced a bill that would create a commission to oversee a new Smart Spending Award program. The program aims to improve state spending through recognizing and implementing ideas for saving money and spending more efficiently. Costa’s bill is part of House Republican “Getting to 25” legislative program, which seeks to change Rhode Island’s poor state rankings.
“Workers know their jobs best. This bill would use that knowledge and create a program based on good employee input. We have a budget that’s over eight billion dollars, so there’s lots of room for spending smarter,” said Costa.
This program is based on a successful federal program created in 2009, which has saved hundreds of millions of federal dollars over the last four years. The Rhode Island commission would accept savings ideas, evaluate them, and recommend good savings measures to department directors for review. Annually, the committee would select the best proposal for recognition as the Smart Savings Award of the Year.
“This is about changing the culture of spending in Rhode Island, where costs go unchecked. One department might save in a way that others do not; we can improve state spending through better communication between state departments and employees. This program will allow individuals from all over the state to make their voice heard, get involved, and make a difference.”
“Rhode Island’s continuing budget crisis highlights the major problem in the way we spend: we’re spending more than we can afford. It’s time for us to look inward at how we’re spending and how we can improve. This commission encourages all Rhode Islanders to pitch in and help us reduce unnecessary spending, while keeping our government effective.”
An appliance worker at GE once said to CEO Jack Welch, “For twenty five years, you paid for my hands when you could have had my brain as well – for nothing.”
“Let’s not make that mistake here in Rhode Island,” said Costa. “We should seek input from those who work on the front lines of government. We can us their insights and knowledge to save money and help our government run smoother.”
For more information, contact:
Jeffrey Robert, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
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