Week 10, budget approval and budget communication

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Week 10, budget approval and budget communication

  1. 1. Budget Approval and Budget Communication Week 10 POL 877
  2. 2. Failures of government are often failures ofcommunication.Let’s look at the complex process of localplanning as an example to illustrate theimportance of communication before we talkabout budgeting“WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURETO COMMUNICATE…”
  3. 3. What practitioners’ think…• Some blame the public. – County planner: “In my community people have a NIMBY Complex so they don’t want their neighbor to get something that they cant have. So we get everyone involved, at least with Comprehensive Planning.”• Some blame their profession. – County planner: “The public is general uninterested in comprehensive planning due to its complexity and failure of planners to make it meaningful for the general public.”• Some blame politicians. – County planner: “Planning as a stand alone function isnt understood by most people let alone politicians.”
  4. 4. Communication in budgeting?• Budgeting is a process of advising and negotiating with: – Citizens – Civic groups – Technical specialists – Political officials (appointed and elected) – Merit-employees (often your superiors)• This communication is technical and value-based. – Three new police officers, which will cost the city an additional $200,000, will help decrease crime. – We need three new police officers.• Communication is the glue that holds the process together – You have to “sell” your budgets
  5. 5. How not to communicate…• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMgyi57s- A4
  6. 6. Roles and Audiences• Main public budgeting actors – Agency head (local, state, and federal level) – Central budget office – Chief executive – Legislative body• If you work directly for the government, what roles will you most likely play? – Agency head – City manager or county manager – Program manager
  7. 7. Agency heads and program directors• Your communication should be directed to these audiences…• What are your strategies?• How do you justify your budget? – Mandatory expenditures – Base expenditures – Discretionary expenditures
  8. 8. Mandatory expenditures• Social Security• Pension / retirement• Unemployment• Debt obligations
  9. 9. Base expenditures• Utilities• Fuel• Maintenance• Personnel cost
  10. 10. Discretionary expenditures• New cost• What you’ll need to justify.• How do you justify these costs? – Is there sufficient data to support my request? – Is the new cost due to a state or federal mandate? – Has the legislative body increased the service demands?
  11. 11. City/county managers• What are your audiences?• Strategies/Tools – Explaining the budget • Public hearings • Simulations • Town hall meetings – Writing the budget • Neighborhood focus groups • Simulations – Let’s look at one for the federal government • Participatory budgeting
  12. 12. Constraints on LegislaturesGeneral Characteristics of Legislatures• Representation of Interests• Legislative Apportionment• Term Limits
  13. 13. Constraints on LegislaturesFactors Affecting Legislative Decisions• Fragmentation• Political Party Leadership• Legislative Committees• Availability of Time• Compensation and Staff
  14. 14. The Legislative Budget Process• Legislative body adopts the budget… – What are the constraints now? – Bureaucratic drift – Limitations of legislative oversight of the executive – Complexity of joint action (Wildavsky and Pressman) – Measuring success
  15. 15. What motivates legislators?• Getting reelected!• David Mayhew’s The Electoral Connection• Goals of legislators: – Credit claiming – Advertising – Position taking• This can be a universal theory: – See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngMs_4I1__o – See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rPFcoydGn8
  16. 16. BUDGET APPROVAL IN THE U.S.CONGRESS
  17. 17. Significant events and legislation• Budget and Accounting Act of 1921• The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 – Backdoor spending – Impoundment – Budget committees and the budget resolutions – Congressional Budget Office• David Stockman and Omnibus bills• The arrival of large deficits, 1981 – 1985 and 2000s• The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings I & II – Sequester – Reconciliation• The Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 (Read my lips…)
  18. 18. Cont. events and legislation• Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993• 1995 Government shutdown – Will it happen this year?• 1997 Balance Budget Act• Table 9-4 actually looks good now…
  19. 19. Reforms• Line-item veto – Clinton v. City of New York• Balanced budget amendment• Congressional reorganization• Biennial budget

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