Smart Choices in Hard Times

Best practices for addressing state budget shortfalls have been identified by a group of ten nonprofit organizations today in a report entitled “Smart Choices in Hard Times: Best Practices for State Budgets.”

“When budgets are tight, families are counting on smart budget choices that protect what matters most.  We have to look at the budget as a whole so that good choices are made that protect families in the economic downturn and position Nebraska to recover as quickly as possible.  This report provides ideas from other states that have done just that,” Rebecca Gould, Executive Director of the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest.

The report identifies seven “best practices” from other states for addressing budget shortfalls.  Best practices indentified include: expanding tax collection efforts, increasing efficiencies, using available resources, embracing “multiplier” initiatives, implementing creative revenue generating initiatives, updating the tax structure to reflect the service-focused economy, and developing priorities for programs and services.

“Our state leaders can take a balanced approach that combines targeted spending cuts with other smart, practical measures.  We want to provide ideas and input to the budget conversation, and we believe that the Appropriations committee is capable of using these and other strategies to create a budget that works for Nebraska families,” Kathy Bigsby-Moore, Executive Director of Voices for Children in Nebraska.

“With a balanced approach, we can build a budget that reflects our priorities and ensures that state government has the resources to meet the needs of families struggling through the recovery and build a better future for Nebraska.  As the budget dialogue continues, our organizations urge Nebraska’s state leaders to seriously examine the budget as a whole and make choices that benefit the long term future and stability of our state,” Mark Intermill, Associate State Director of AARP Nebraska.

Organizations endorsing the report include:

The Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest
The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands
The Center for Rural Affairs
Opportunity@Work
Nebraska Advocacy Services
AARP Nebraska
The Nebraska Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
NAMI Nebraska
The Lincoln/Lancaster County Human Services Association
Voices for Children Nebraska

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