20.10.20 Operating Budget Request
To assist with the preparation of the Governor’s budget submittal to the Legislature, OFM requires all agencies to submit a detailed operating budget request on a biennial basis. Budget requests consist of the following general elements:
- a description of the agency’s existing responsibilities and programs;
- a plan of activities, goals and objectives for the next biennium;
- fiscal detail on the differences between current biennium and ensuing biennium expenditure levels;
- an explanation and justification of these differences;
- new or additional budget requests for new programs or program enhancements.
The budget is formatted for executive review according to OFM instructions.
As directed in chapter 28B. 50.090 RCW, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges prepares, approves, adopts, and submits a single budget proposal for the college system. The State Board prepares a budget request that includes fiscal detail reports reflecting the expenditures for the current and upcoming biennia. The data is provided at an agency summary level. Revenue data from all sources that have been or will be credited to budgeted funds in the current and ensuing biennia are included.
Districts assist in the preparation of the system budget by responding to data requests from the State Board office. The data requests normally include, but are not limited to, information on district salary bases, revenues, new facilities, and other data requests needed to support the budget.
The budget data is submitted to OFM via the Agency Budget System (ABS). This electronic system allows state agencies to develop, share, and electronically submit their biennial and supplemental budget requests.
The state has also developed the Agency Budget Requests (ABR), a public repository used for viewing and downloading documentation on operating budget requests that state agencies and higher education institutions have submitted for consideration in the governor's biennial and supplemental budget proposals.
Using the current biennium appropriation levels as a starting point, an agency budget request includes amounts for carry-forward level, maintenance level and policy level items as described below:
Carry-Forward Level (CFL)
The carry-forward level (CFL) is calculated by determining cost in the upcoming biennium for appropriations enacted by the Legislature in the current biennium. Funding in the current biennium is categorized as one-time or on-going expenditures, based on legislative intent. Items intended by the Legislature to be one-time costs are not included in the next biennium while the costs for items intended to continue are carried forward into the next biennium.
In collaboration with legislative staff, OFM calculates and provides CFL to each agency. OFM budget analysts will discuss these calculations with agencies as soon as possible after passage of the previous supplemental budgets. OFM expects CFL to be finalized by mid-biennium June.
Agencies do not include CFL in their budget requests. ABS will be populated with CFL amounts – which the agency cannot change.
Maintenance Level (ML)
Maintenance level reflects legally unavoidable costs not contemplated in the current budget. Examples of maintenance level costs include the cost of I-732 COLA adjustments, tuition backfill adjustments, changes in leases and costs for the maintenance and operation of facilities coming online during the biennium. Expenditure adjustments may be positive or negative, depending on the expected experience in the ensuing biennium. Agencies prepare the ML component of the budget submittal.
Policy Level (PL)
Funding requests for items that represent a change from current policy are considered Policy Level request. These changes may represent revised strategies or substantial differences in program direction. Each significant change to current policy must be explained in a Decision Package (DP). Justification must focus on the specific policy decisions and their effect on agency objectives, costs, and clientele.
Examples of Policy Level items
- Discretionary workload. Expenditures necessary to address workload not defined as mandatory.
- New programs or services. New programs or any change in the level or scope of existing programs.
- Program reductions and other changes. Requests for new programs can sometimes replace lesser priority programs. Any policy decision that would result in a reduction in service level or the number of clients served should be displayed as a separate decision package item.
In addition to the items listed above, as part of the budget request, a narrative describing the agency, programs, activities and goals and objectives is included. Detailed information on federal programs, tuition waivers, revolving funds, salary bases, pension and insurance data is also required.
Last Modified: 3/16/23, 4:36 PM