Growth in spending 400% ahead of personal income
ROCKY HILL — Public spending so far outpaces ConnecticutÂ’s economic growth, says the Connecticut Regional Institute for the 21st Century, that over the past dozen years the cost of delivering state and local public services has grown 405-percent faster than median personal income.
But while government costs have risen, performance hasnÂ’t.
In its new report, Â“Improving the Delivery of Public Services,Â” the Institute says taxpayers are tapped out and policymakers should not increase state spending until they do a much more efficient job of managing public resources.
Changing how local governments operate and how the state interacts with them can Â“free up scarce resources to meet our stateÂ’s pressing priorities, saving taxpayer dollars and getting better results,Â” says the Institute.
The problem is, Connecticut is overpopulated with state and local government Â“silosÂ” that donÂ’t work well together but drive up taxpayer costs.
There has to be a better way to deliver public servicesÂ—in fact, there are many, says the Institute.
It recommends more efficient purchasing of goods and services, sharing services among municipalities (such as information technology, and pre-K education), reforming public education, creating uniform charts of accounting to provide transparency in public data, and Â“redefiningÂ” regional organizations to make them stronger and more effective.
Perhaps most of all, Connecticut needs to break down the Â“silosÂ” of state agencies that work independently of one another, block regional cooperation and hinder the maximization of state investments.
Taking down these independent silos will require Â“new attitudes by state agencies on how they work,Â” says the Institute.
Â“The state cannot expect to improve its metropolitan regions and its prosperity without intentional, aligned, cross-agency efforts that target unified community outcomes,Â” says the InstituteÂ’s report.
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