Division Of The Budget Review (September/October – December)
In accordance with the schedule outlined in the call letter, agencies typically submit their budget requests to the Division of the Budget in early-mid fall, with copies provided to the legislative fiscal committees. Examination units within the Division then analyze the requests of the agencies for which they have responsibility. Examiners may seek additional information from the agencies and may hold informal hearings or meetings with agency management to clarify agency requests and seek a more precise definition of agency priorities. By the end of October, examination units have also usually determined funding requirements to continue agency programs at current levels in the new year.
In November, the Budget Director conducts constitutionally authorized “formal” budget hearings, giving agency heads an opportunity to present and discuss their budget requests and giving the staff of the Division of the Budget and the Governor’s office an opportunity to raise critical questions on program, policy and priorities. As provided in the Constitution, representatives of the Legislature also participate in the hearings.
Through late November, the Division’s examiners transform agency requests into preliminary budget and personnel recommendations which are reviewed in detail with the Director. They also prepare the appropriation bills and any other legislation required to carry out these recommendations. Concurrently, the Division of the Budget’s fiscal planning staff is reassessing economic projections, investigating possible changes in the revenue structure, analyzing trends in federal funding, and preparing the Financial Plan that describes and forecasts the State’s fiscal condition. The Financial Plan is prepared both on a cash basis and according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
By early December, the Division of the Budget will normally have completed its preliminary recommendations on both revenues and expenditures, and presented them to the Governor and the Governor’s staff. Budget staff then prepare the tables and the narrative (the “budget story”) that accompany each agency budget, and the descriptions and forecasts of individual revenue sources.