Week 9 budget proposals and priorities
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Week 9: Budget Proposals and Priorities. Politics of competition for resources Budget proposals and justification format for Budget Change Proposal (BCP) strategies and characteristics of good budget requests Review sample BCPs Class exercise.

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Week 9 budget proposals and priorities l.jpg
Week 9: Budget Proposals and Priorities

  • Politics of competition for resources

  • Budget proposals and justification

    • format for Budget Change Proposal (BCP)

    • strategies and characteristics of good budget requests

  • Review sample BCPs

  • Class exercise


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Politics of Competition (and avoiding competition)

  • Norms of competition

    • incrementalism as old school

    • competition can be dynamic and intense

  • Structure of competition

    • macro and micro levels

    • how budget process structures competition

  • Strategies for winning

    • crisis; broad benefits; understate costs; compelling need

  • Strategies for avoiding

    • earmarking; mandates; entitlements; special funds/own revenue sources; fees; formulas

  • Summary

    • conflict and potential for change are inversely related

    • trend to lock up $ and minimize conflict reduces flexibility of public officials to respond to public preferences


Bcp format see how to write an effective bcp for more detail on what to include in each section l.jpg
BCP Format – see “How to Write an Effective BCP” for more detail on what to include in each section

1. BCP Title and Summary Statement (cover page)

  • Budget tables (see next two slides)

  • Nature of request

    • what is the need?

    • why is it arising now? (new mandate, growing problem, etc.)

    • how much are you requesting and for what purposes?

      4. Background/History (and “state level considerations)

    • relevant history of program – how this problem arose

    • legislative history

    • state role and relation to other state programs

      5. Justification

    • why will this approach be effective in addressing problem?

    • how were the specific amounts determined?

    • why are current efforts and resources insufficient?

      6. Accountability: objectives and performance measures

  • Analysis of Alternatives

    • e.g. partial funding, delay implementation, alternative approach

      8. Recommendation and Timetable


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Summary Budget Table more detail on what to include in each section


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Detail of Personal Services Table more detail on what to include in each section


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Categories of Budget Justification more detail on what to include in each section

  • mandate—new program; new level of service

  • workload increase – within an ongoing function

  • cost increase (for same level of service)

    • salaries

    • inflation on operating budgets

    • reduction in other funding sources

  • proposing expanded or new program or services

    • to increase effectiveness of existing programs

    • to address new set of problems


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Strategies for Developing Budget Justification more detail on what to include in each section

  • baseline cost/workload data (which base year to choose?)

  • justify changes from base (e.g. quantify workload increase)

  • comparisons (relevant)

  • formulas and standards (appropriate and inappropriate uses)

  • “fair share”

  • research on cause and effect

  • best practices

  • pilot (where research may be lacking or inconclusive)

  • fit under budget office guidelines, strategic plan, etc.

  • propose accountability measures

  • check to avoid “the big mistake”


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Characteristics of Good Budget Request more detail on what to include in each section

  • Frames request in terms of program priorities/strategic plan

  • Provides baseline data for a few years, for context

  • Clearly lays out different parts of request

  • Deals with each part in turn (and they add up!)

  • Provides quantitative justification for dollar amounts

  • Makes logical arguments

  • Reflects research – not the easy way out

  • Doesn’t try to fool the analyst

  • Honest about current resource availability

  • Addresses issues of priority within the department

  • Acknowledges recent history of budgeting in the unit

  • Addresses one-time v on-going needs openly

  • Includes objectives, expected results, and performance measures


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BCP: Commission on Improving Life Through Service more detail on what to include in each section

  • Strengths

    • Compelling explanation of need in view of policy priorities

    • Strong analytical basis for requested increase

      • growth in local programs

      • constant administrative budget

      • exhaustion of prior year carryover

      • evidence from privates of limits to their support

      • new program responsibilities

    • Recommended alternative shows commitment from agency as well

  • Weaknesses

    • no explanation of what the new staff will do, or why that number

    • some numbers with no context or benchmarks

    • too long and repetitive

    • only cited three states that receive state support

    • 2nd alternative is disingenuous; 3rd is “straw man”


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BCP: School for the Blind: (if this is a good BCP…….?) more detail on what to include in each section

OK budget analysts: what questions would YOU ask?

  • “Existing resources provide an inadequate level of support because the CSB does not receive the same allocation of positions as public school programs for the blind and visually impaired. This denies students at CSB access to the same instructional teaching ratios found in local school districts.”

  • “Three TA positions have been an extremely positive and long-standing asset to our education program”


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BCP: School for the Blind (continued) more detail on what to include in each section

  • In response to “what have been recent program changes?”

    • “CSB has been significantly impacted by the increase of students with multiple disabilities. Approximately 70% of the student body has additional disabilities.”

  • In response to “are there examples from other states where this approach has succeeded?”

    • “all other state schools for the blind are funded for teaching assistants.”

  • In response to “what facts and figures support this…”

    • “the requested teaching assistants are needed to provide a comparable learning environment to public schools...”


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BCP: Adult Programs Demonstration Projects more detail on what to include in each section

  • Strengths

    • well written and well organized

    • good discussion of need

    • good justification of request that is not easy to quantify

      • based on staffing in other units doing similar tasks

      • projects four proposals per year reviewed by staff

    • includes detailed job descriptions of new staff

  • Weaknesses

    • includes “straw man” alternative to double the increase

    • builds rationale on one example of program not reviewed


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Class Exercise more detail on what to include in each section

Case 1: Sacramento Fire Department

  • requests 12 additional firefighters, two new fire stations, 4 new vehicles, 4 replacement vehicles, associated equipment, and training funds

    Case 2: CSUS -- Student Affairs

  • requests two additional counselor positions, a half-time clerical position, 3 computers, and associated operating costs, to develop and implement a new program to improve retention and graduation rates for students in “at risk” groups

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Program officers:

  • develop line item request and rationale; use hypothetical numbers where needed; anticipate questions from budget officers

    Budget officers:

  • prepare specific questions for program officers; make sure they fully justify their requests


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Preview of Week 10 more detail on what to include in each section

Budget Analysis

  • Review and discuss 4 Legislative Analyst’s Office analyses (be prepared to discuss the one you wrote about in your memo)

  • Categorize analytical strategies and approaches

  • Budget analysis class exercise

  • Distribute information on week 11 Eureka (state budget balancing) exercise

  • distribute mid-term


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