The State of Utah’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The fiscal year is commonly referred to using the later of the two calendar years. For example, fiscal year 2013-14 is sometimes referred to as fiscal year 2014 (or FY 2014).
The State of Utah budgets using a base budget methodology. Funding is appropriated to State agencies for programs on either a one-time or ongoing basis. Ongoing funding is considered part of the base budget for future years.
Each year, officials from public education, higher education, and state agencies submit (a) planned expenditures for their base budget and (b) budget change requests to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. Common budget requests are costs associated with population growth (more students, more inmates, etc.), inflationary increases, and increased costs associated with federal mandates.
Governor’s Budget Recommendations
GOMB estimates anticipated revenues, analyzes both base budgets and the new budget requests, and assists the Governor in preparing final budget recommendations. The Governor’s budget recommendations are summarized in the Governor’s Budget Recommendation Book (see link below). The Governor delivers his budget message and transmits his budget recommendations to the Legislature through the Legislature’s staff budget office, the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst (LFA).
To enact law, including a budget bill, the Legislature must pass an identical bill in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Utah is unique in that the Appropriations Committee is comprised of the entire Legislature. The Appropriations Committee is divided into joint House and Senate appropriations subcommittees, by topic (such as Public Education, Higher Education, Transportation, Social Services, etc.). After the LFA receives the Governor’s budget recommendations, it analyzes the recommendations and prepares its own recommendations for the Legislature and its appropriation subcommittees.
The appropriation subcommittees analyze the budgets within their assigned topic area and submit their final recommendations to the Executive Appropriations Committee (EAC). The Executive Appropriations Committee receives the recommendations from the joint appropriations subcommittees, makes final budgetary decisions to balance the budget, and directs the LFA to prepare appropriations bills. The appropriations bills (there are usually multiple bills) are debated and the House of Representatives and the Senate pass the budget bills.
The LFA annually prepares an appropriations report that summarizes the actual enacted budget.
Budget Enactment & Implementation
After the Legislature passes the budget bills, the Governor decides whether or not to sign the bills. Once a bill is signed by the Governor, it goes into effect on the date specified in the bill. State agencies use the funding provided to them in the budget to carry out their responsibilities. State agency annual reports, which summarize ways various state agencies carry out their responsibilities, can be accessed here.
Budget Terms and Definitions
A comprehensive listing of budget terms and definitions can be accessed here.