In the coming weeks, various state agencies will submit budget requests for fiscal years 2012-2013 to the State Budget Agency.
The budget requests include detailed information about the services provided by state agencies and the costs of doing so. The State Budget Committee uses the budget requests to evaluate state agencies, hold government programs accountable and to guide future funding decisions.
See below to learn more about what a budget request typically includes and how the legislature uses the budget requests to guide the budget writing process. Subsequent blog posts will include each state agency’s official budget request, line item expense and revenue reports, and highlights from each agency’s presentation to the State Budget Committee.
Procedure for budget requests
1. Agencies submit budget requests
Items that may be included in agency requests:
- Current Services Budget: Cost of maintaining services at current levels.
- New Services Requests: Estimated cost increases.
- Capital Project Requests: One-time requests for construction and maintenance of facilities.
- Internal Reallocations: Funds transferred between programs within an agency.
- Budget Reductions: Cuts as ordered by the governor, program elimination, etc.
2. State Budget Agency reviews initial requests
The Budget Agency reviews the submitted budget requests and formulates recommendations. Budget review includes a detailed analysis of agency programs, operational performance, changes in population and cost trends, and other factors related to the efficient, effective use of public resources. The requests are reviewed and approved by the Governor, and then presented to the Budget Committee.
3. Requests presented at Budget Committee hearings:
The Budget Committee is composed of four legislators – one Democrat and one Republican from both the House of Representatives and the Senate – and the Director of the Budget Agency. The Budget Committee holds public hearings with state agencies to outline their budget requests. After the hearings are completed and future revenue estimates are presented via the Revenue Forecast, the committee makes a single, comprehensive budget recommendation to the governor.
4. Drafting the Budget Bill:
After the hearings are completed and future revenue estimates are presented via the Revenue Forecast (expected Dec. 13), the committee makes a single, comprehensive budget recommendation to the governor. The governor then revises and delivers the final version of the budget report and submits a draft of a budget bill to the Indiana General Assembly for their review.
Up Next: Legislative negotiation and adoption (January – April)
Want more details? See “The Budget Process” on the State Budget Agency’s website.