by Juliette Tennert, Budget Director and Chief Economist
Utah’s budgeting process provides the framework and funding for public services and programs. Dollars provided through the budgeting process can help policy ideas move from concept to reality. However, the state budget reflects more than just dollars and cents. At a fundamental level, the budget expresses Utah values and priorities. State budget choices affect all Utahns – from the quality of our education, transportation, and correctional systems to our natural resources and the programs that support our most vulnerable populations.
Over the coming weeks, the GOMB blog postings will include more information about the three stages of Utah’s budget process: development, adoption, and execution.
Development: July – December
The state’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. Development of the state budget begins a year in advance when the Governor releases budget guidelines to executive branch agencies. These guidelines outline the Governor’s budget and policy priorities and provide direction on developing agency budgets. After agencies submit budget requests in September, the Governor and his budget team prioritize expenditures based on expected revenue and begin developing a budget proposal. Each December, the Governor presents his final budget proposal to the Utah State Legislature.
Adoption: January – March
Official adoption of the state budget takes place over the course of the annual legislative general session which begins on the fourth Monday of January and lasts for 45 days. During this time, the legislature reviews the Governor’s budget proposal, holds public hearings where state agencies and other stakeholders provide testimony, and considers additional funding options based on legislative staff and other recommendations. This analysis culminates in the passage of appropriation bills that determine the final budget. Budget appropriation bills become law when signed by the Governor.
Execution: July – June
The newly adopted budget goes into effect at the beginning of the new fiscal year or on July 1. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) and the Department of Administrative Services Division of Finance oversee individual state agency execution of the enacted state budget.