Call to Order and Roll Call
Thefirst meeting of the Subcommittee on 2012-2014 Budget Preparation and Submission of the Legislative Research Commission was held on Thursday, June 23, 2011, at<MeetTime> 3:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Rick Rand, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Guests: John Hicks, Deputy State Budget Director, Office of State Budget Director.
Chairman Rand began by thanking the subcommittee members for their presence. He then introduced John Hicks, Deputy State Budget Director, Office of State Budget Director (OSBD), and asked him to provide an overview of proposed changes to the Executive Branch budget instructions.
Chairman Rand asked if the baseline budget was always the ending of the current fiscal year. Mr. Hicks replied in this case it is the fiscal year 2012 enacted budget less spending reductions that have taken place this biennium as a part of the enacted budget. It is lower than the appropriation in the bill because it has been reduced by spending reductions. He added that typically there is a deadline for restricted and federal fund appropriations increases in order to set the baseline.
Chairman Rand inquired about proposed personnel changes. Mr. Hicks explained the snapshot date for personnel vacancies is August 1st for forecasting purposes. He said in the past the only positions the agencies could ask for were those included in the baseline or those already filled, even if they could afford more. The new proposal states that they can only request positions they can afford, even if they are currently vacant. Chairman Rand wondered if it would be a good exercise to require agencies to justify every position. Mr. Hicks stated that they consider the budget process to be justification for positions, even those that are filled. Chairman Rand asked if there could be a problem with agencies having vacancies. Mr. Hicks said he didn't think so, due to the fact that the information agencies provide is an input to the decision-making process.
Senator Givens asked if the baseline budget is the enacted previous year's budget. Mr. Hicks replied in the affirmative. Senator Givens asked if an agency or department has money left at the end of the year, would it impact their baseline budget. Mr. Hicks answered that due to the biennium budget timelines, the agencies would not know the answer to that question when they submit their budget requests. He explained that OSBD staff and Budget Review staff also look backwards as part of the analysis process. Senator Givens asked if there were any incentives or mechanisms built in that would motivate an agency to spend less money. Mr. Hicks said that it would be difficult to do within the budget request process due to agencies estimating their costs when submitting them.
Chairman Rand requested a motion to direct the Co-Chairs to work with LRC staff to finalize the 2012-2014 Budget Instructions and formally present them to LRC for adoption. A motion was made by Representative Simpson, seconded by Representative Overly, and the motion carried without objection or discussion.
Chairman Rand requested a motion to direct staff to send out Defined Calculations letters to specific agencies before 2012-2014 Budget Instructions are finalized. A motion was made by Representative Simpson, seconded by Senator Stine, and the motion carried without objection or discussion.
There being no further business before the subcommittee, the meeting was adjourned at 3:35 PM.