A new report from the fiscal policy arm of Connecticut Voices for Children gave the state generally high marks for budgetary transparency, but suggested some reforms to make the state’s budget more understandable and accountable for residents.
In a transparency scorecard designed by the national think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Connecticut earned a score of 74 out of 100, according to the Voices’ Fiscal Policy Center.
The report credits the state with doing a good job providing residents with information that puts state programs in context. Budget documents are available to the public that explain budgetary changes, the report said.
The state also provides long-term tax and spending projections, it said.
On the other hand, the report said the state could improve its transparency by reporting how federal dollars are spent at the program level. It also could provide information regarding the impact of tax rates on different businesses and income groups.
The report suggests the state get into the practice of asking for public input before the governor releases his budget proposal.
“The first step toward accountability is disclosure,” Wade Gibson, author of the report, said in a press release. “While Connecticut follows many best practices in its state budget process, more openness could improve public understanding and ultimately produce a better budget.”
Connecticut’s current transparency score of 74 is an improvement over the score it held 20 years ago, when it stood at 56, according to the press release.