Fiscal notes provide value for legislators and the public by forecasting revenue changes in proposed legislation. However, many times bills are introduced and voted on before the data on fiscal repercussions are made available to those voting on the bills.
State officials can easily feign surprise at the state of the budget when it is obvious that the long-term budget forecasts have either been unseen or utterly disregarded.
State officials and the public should know the full impact of a spending proposal before any action is taken. Bills proposing increased spending should not receive hearings or votes until a completed fiscal note is available.
The purpose of this recommendation is clear — profligate spending bills cannot be pushed through legislative bodies without the full fiscal consequences being made known to legislators.
There are currently two bills under consideration that would implement fiscal notes in Hawaii, Senate Bill 268 and House Bill 449.
For more information on fiscal notes, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 808-591-9193
Fiscal notes data taken from ALEC State Budget Reform Toolkit://www.alec.org/am/pdf/tax/Budget_toolkit.pdf