Posted: November 30th, 2013
The article Local Budgeting and Public Participation: Contextual Predictors of State Laws Mandating Public Input by Mitchel N. Herian examines the political and economical facets associated with the established state laws that authorize public participation and input in budgets. The article provides that, in advancing democracies, the ability of the public to participate in the budgetary functions has increased over the years. The article provides predictions in terms of the extent of the engagement of the public in their respective localities in budgetary processes. The article evaluates the presence of issues such as state laws regarding the public participation and input in local budgeting, and the forms of public participation required to ensure the adequate participation of the public in the local authorities budgeting processes.
Local public participation is actualized through the imposition of self-laws, and other forms of laws. Such is usually through panels, public hearings and gatherings, and public surveys to gauge the various views. In addition, with the recent and rapid developments in terms of technology it is possible for local and state authorities to engage the public in the budgeting processes such as through active internet activities. Various variables influence the level and presence of public participation in budgeting processes. Economic variables affect the participation of the public in that they directly influence the per capita state gross domestic product as well as the individual incomes of the public.
In addition, another key economic aspect is taxation, which affects the public as well as the revenues, which are collected within a state of local area. Hence, the public is influenced by such matters, which affect them directly to seek public. Political variables also determine the aspect of public participation. Such takes place in the need to maintain parity between the various parties and political interests in the budgeting policies. Democratized states and local authorities usually advocate for public participation in budgeting than other states with lower levels of democracy. Institutional variable also affect the involvement of the public in the budgeting and planning processes. Government authorities and their related structures also determine the ability of the public in budgeting. Hence, these structures give power to individuals in the various positions, in local and state authorities to make decisions relating to the budgets in their respective jurisdictions.
On the other hand, Philip G. Joyce and Scott Pattison in their article Public Budgeting in 2020: Return to Equilibrium, or Continued Mismatch between Demands and Resources? state that the aspect of public budgeting has been embedded in the differences, in terms of the requirements of the public, and the need by the government to ensure the actualization of the various activities provided for, in public budgets. There have been various events in terms of budgeting practices as well as trends. The present budgeting trends make it difficult to predict of future trends and events and needs in terms of public involvement in budgeting. Various elements and issues were evaluated in the article.
They entail the presence of changes and prediction of changes in the unforeseen future, in terms of budgeting policies, and the presence of laws and regulations in the public domain facilitating involvement of the public, in budgeting. The articles talks of the fiscal wellbeing of the federal government and the effects of the growing and unexpected deficits in the United States budget. Hence, the article questions the ability of the federal government to reduce the unprecedented risks and deficits to manageable levels or whether such unprecedented increases in the deficits which are likely to affect the economy negatively, as well as the involvement of the public in the budgeting processes. Identically, states and local authorities face similar changes to those faced by the federal government in terms of making relevant allocations, as well as the reduction of the deficits in such budgets. States might be under pressure identical to pressure that the federal government is under because of the reduced growth because of the increased spending and subsequent deficits.
The activities of governments and the related local authorities rely on the presence of resources and mainly in the form of funds to enable actualization of such activities. In addition, there is also need for the presence of equality as budgeting according to the article is essentially an era of scarcity and lack, as it indicates the presence of inability to meet the demands due to the mismatch between demand and supply of the available funds or resources. Essentially, in the preceding decades the governments and state authorities will face crises in terms of ensuring reduction or constant deficits and public debt.
This might be a difficult task for the government given that, the spending, deficits and public debts have been on an increase in the united sates. Hence, there is a need for actions in terms of allocation of revenues and control of the spending of the budgets to ensure the aspect of equality in both national and state levels. However, if actions by the federal government in terms of control of spending and revenues were undertaken in an equal measure, such would subsequently trickle down to the state and local level authorities thus ensuring the realization of the effects at grassroots level. Furthermore, the challenges facing the government, if addressed in relation to the fiscal and monetary changes in the country, could enable changes in making decisions for bettering the deficit and debt conditions of the country.
Bruce J. Perlman, in his article, The Great Recession and Compensation Practices: New Rules for Compensation?, discusses of the great recession and the effects of the events in terms of labor relations and collective bargaining as well as on the state and local governments. The main issues are that labor relations and practices of compensation in both local and sate levels of the government have attracted various views of such issues in the country. His has necessitated the review of such practices at the stipulated levels of government to ensure the aspects of equality. This has taken a political perspective in that politicians use such platforms and issues to woo supporters and increase their political images and attractiveness.
The Great Recession had severe effects on several areas of the state and local governments. Such reduces the present labor forces, and compensations towards the labor forces such as wages and the related benefits. Hence, this brings forth questions of the change of the rules of labor relations and the acts of compensations to the laborers in the market. Such changes could be attributed simply to the Great Recession; however, there are pending notions of the return to normalcy after the end of the great Recession.
However, there are forces, which aim at altering the presence of equality by exerting individual control over the budgeting processes, as well as the compensation practices for laborers in the market. However, the parties seeking alternative forms of compensation, which are inequitable, have not yet been able to alter such changes in terms of compensation, labor relations and the presence of collective bargaining in the labor market.
In conclusion, there is a dire need to ensure that equality prevails in the allocation of compensation in the labor sector, the issue of compensation, and aspects of collective bargaining. Such is influenced by the ever-changing political scene as new players come into play and enforce new ideas in terms of the need to either maintain or change the existing laws and regulations governing the issues identified in the labor sector and related compensations and the respective collaborative bargain agreements in existence.
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