Senate Cost Study Commission Hears Testimony From Other States

HARRISBURG – The Senate Government Management and Costs Study Commission created by Senate Resolution 161 today held its third public hearing on cost reduction efforts.

Luke Martel, Fiscal Affairs Analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), testified before the Commission on the efforts of states who have implemented or proposed cost saving measures to close budget gaps.

“It goes without saying that the current recession has wreaked havoc on state finances,” said Martel.

When asked about cost reductions within the prison system, Martel stated that Ohio has reduced their weekend meal program for state prisoners, eliminating breakfast service, while remaining to keep the nutritional value and daily caloric intake the same, thus creating an additional savings.

“I am pleased that Mr. Martel was able to provide us with some very unique recommendations,” said Sen. Dave Argall, Commission Chairman. “We are always interested to see what steps other states are taking to reduce their budget gaps.”

The 10-member commission includes individuals experienced in the operation of state and local government, along with members who have considerable experience in private business. The goal of the commission is to study state government operations in an effort to propose changes which will reduce costs for Pennsylvania taxpayers. The commission’s report to the full Senate is due on June 30.

Members of the public who have ideas they would like the commission to consider are encouraged to send emails to:

The commission’s next hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 12 in Hearing Room #1 of the North Office Building in Harrisburg.

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