Maximizing Public Investments in Tight

Budget Times 

NCSL Legislative Summit: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 

Running time: 00:58:20

Representative David Heaton
, Iowa

Kathy McGuire
, Deputy Director, Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA), Florida
Arlene Lee, Senior Associate, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Washington, D.C. 


Evaluation capacity within the legislature is critical to help legislators make informed budget choices. Lawmakers are lobbied to fund locally supported programs that may or may not achieve intended results, and agencies generally don’t come forward with failures.

Legislatures can use program evaluation and a focus on achieving results to assess what a state is getting for the activities it spends on behalf of its citizens. This session describes how an evaluation by the Florida Legislature saved the state $51.2 million over four years in juvenile corrections costs, and how a budget committee in the Connecticut General Assembly uses a results model to improve services for young children.

Sponsored by the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) and the Annie E. Casey Foundation