Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty


Who’s Paying the Bill? by grassroothawaii
January 14, 2011, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Economy, Limited Government | Tags: ,

by Frances Nuar

Do you pay your own bills? Watch what you spend? Notice how much things cost? Welcome to the club. If not though, maybe your spending habits are more like our legislature: buying without ever bothering to notice how much anything costs. Hawaii has the distinction of being the only state in the nation to not use fiscal notes in its legislative process. Fiscal notes are essentially price tags for bills: they inform your elected official of the positive or negative effect a bill will have on the state budget. Thus bills with fiscal notes can be voted on not only for their merit, but on their net effect on the state budget as well, an especially important distinction in the current economy.

So next time you go shopping, imagine if there were no price tags on anything. How would you decide what to buy if you knew your budget was limited? It’d be extremely difficult, to say the least. Now imagine there are no price tags, but your budget is unlimited. You wouldn’t care how much anything cost, because you knew it would be paid for regardless.

This legislative session, Grassroot Institute will be working on bringing greater accountability and transparency to the legislative process by introducing fiscal notes–price tags–to the legislative process. It’s time our officials kept better track of our hard-earned tax dollars and paid more attention to where those dollars were going.

Stay tuned for more on this important issue!

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1 Comment so far
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Excellent article. Jamie explained this to us during one of her presentations.

I suppose Abercrombie won’t push for greater fiscal accountability since he just agreed to give the public unions $126 Million for health care, with no idea how to fund it.

Comment by Kini




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