Logical ways to cut state budget

It seems whenever budgets need to be decreased there are always arguments over which departments should have cuts and how much those cuts should be. I truly believe there are some simple ways to cut the budget.

1. The state has a per-diem rate available to state workers when they travel. Instead of a set rate (which is usually higher than actual expenses incurred by an employee) mandate all expenses must be accompanied by receipts.

2. Start at the top and the bottom – money should be taken from budgets for the governor and the state Senate and House. With technology, meetings held through the Internet should lower travel costs. Money for decorating or redecorating offices should be decreased.

Now the top is showing they will help with the budget gap the low end needs to be cut also. Currently, West Virginia allows Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds to be obtained for five years. Most of the surrounding states only allow for 2-3 years so border counties see an increase in people “moving across the river” to gain additional funds until the five-year total is achieved. Perhaps the state should cut the payments to four years. Or if they wish to keep the five years of payments then adults receiving the funds would have to do work for their county – clean up parks, clean office buildings, pick up trash, etc., whatever the area needs. If the individual refuses to do this then cut off the funds.

I honestly believe if the government would look just a bit harder, instead of cutting funds for public service or education, they could find actual waste that could be cut to help the balance the budget.

Janet Barrett