ST. PAUL – With the goal of ensuring that our tax dollars are used most effectively, State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) is authoring legislation designed to remove partisan agendas from government program evaluations.
Specifically, Schomacker’s bill transfers responsibility for implementing the state's Results First program evaluation initiative from the Minnesota Management and Budget Office to the newly-established Legislative Budget Office.
“Making this move will give the legislature more information – and unbiased information – on how our tax dollars are being utilized,” Schomacker said.
The Results First initiative is a partnership between the state, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the MacArthur Foundation. Its primary mission is to evaluate state programs and services by reviewing evidence of their effectiveness as documented in academic research, and to use statistical modeling to conduct cost-benefit analysis of those same programs and services.
Schomacker said the Legislative Budget Office would then oversee program evaluations, such as in the health and human services and criminal justice areas, and determine which programs are working effectively and which are not.
“Allowing the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Office to take charge means they will stay out of any partisan fray,” Schomacker said. “Political agendas for our current or any future Governor’s Office should not be allowed to skew the results of a government program that is determined to be a waste of money for state taxpayers.”
Schomacker’s will was recently approved by the Minnesota House Government Operations Committee and is being held over by the House State Government Finance Committee for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.