BOSTON – Today, State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) is pleased to promote an exciting opportunity for his constituents interesting in improving the way state government works.
The Pioneer Institute, a non-profit public policy research group, is sponsoring the 20th Better Government Competition (BGC), which annually seeks ideas from Massachusetts residents about how to improve government efficiency and effectiveness. The BGC provides an unrivaled opportunity for citizen involvement in the development of government policy. Implementation of winning ideas from previous Competitions has saved taxpayers more than $500 million.
The theme of the 2011 competition is “budget busters” – those programs that are growing unsustainably and in need of dramatic change, and its focus is budget management and savings. Pioneer seeks innovative ideas for reform that would lessen the strain on state and local budgets by reengineering or outsourcing existing programs, implementing new policies with minimal or non-existent incremental costs, eliminating non-core or duplicative programs, or creating durable mechanisms to avoid future fiscal crisis.
In order to improve the efficiency of state and local budgets and strengthen our economy for both businesses and individuals, Pioneer needs the involvement of concerned Massachusetts citizens. Entries may describe proven programs that have been recently implemented, or innovations not yet undertaken. The Pioneer Institute encourages entries that will enhance state, county and municipal government operations.
The winner will receive a $10,000 prize presented at the BGC Awards Dinner in June 2011. Runners-up will each receive a $1,000 prize for their proposals to improve government.
“Smart government reform initiatives always top my policy agenda,” said Downing. “I urge my constituents to participate in this year’s competition by suggesting new and efficient ways for public programs to operate.”
“Getting the citizens of the Commonwealth more involved in thinking about the work of government and public service is a core piece of what Pioneer is about,” said Jim Stergios, Executive Director of Pioneer Institute. “We greatly appreciate Senator Downing working with us to broaden our ability to attract good ideas from across the state.”