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Commonly Used Budget Terms

Adjournment - The termination of legislative activities at the conclusion of each legislative day, or the ending of the first regular session of a legislature.

Adjournment Sine Die - The termination of a second regular session without setting a date for reconvening that has the effect of closing the session and terminating all unfinished business.

Adjusted Base (Operating) - The prior year's budget less one-time appropriations plus "unavoidable" statewide increases (such as salary adjustments) needed to maintain services at a status quo level.

Agency - Generally a state department, but for budgeting purposes the Legislature, Judiciary and University of Alaska are also considered agencies.

Allocation - A subunit of appropriations in an appropriation bill. An agency can move funding freely between allocations within an appropriation. (Also referred to as a component.)

Appropriation - Authorization to spend funds for a stated purpose. Appropriations are often subdivided into allocations inthe appropriations bill. The Alaska Constitution prohibits payment of money out of the treasury unless authorized by an appropriation.

Budget - The plan or authorization for revenues and expenditures for a fixed period of time. The Governor must submit an operating, mental health, and capital budget to the legislature by December 15th.

Budget Amendment - A revision to an agency's budget involving a formal request to change the dollar amount or scope of a project after the operating or capital budgets have been submitted to the legislature. Governor's budget amendments are due to the legislature by the 30th day of the legislative session. Legislative amendments occur throughout the budget process.

Budget Structure - The organization of a budget bill into appropriations and allocations. The budget structure limits where funding can be spent; funding can be transferred between allocations within an appropriation but cannot be transferred freely across appropriation lines.

Budget Year - The fiscal year for which the budget is being prepared (July 1 through June 30).

Capital Budget - A plan for the distribution of state financial resources for items which have an anticipated life that exceeds one year and which usually costs at least $25,000. Capital budget appropriations lapse only if funds remain after the project is completed.

Conference Committee Books (CC Books) - Post-session publications produced by the Legislative Finance Division providing a detailed summary of each state agency's operating budget at the individual allocation level.

Constitutional Budget Reserve Fund (CBRF) - Article IX,Section 17 of the Alaska Constitution, which became effective on January 2, 1991, established the CBRF as a separate fund in the state treasury, provided for deposit of proceeds of certain tax and mineral revenue disputes into the CBRF, established limitations on the legislature's ability to appropriate money from the fund, and required that sums withdrawn from the fund be repaid.

Current Year Authorized ("Authorized") - Funding appropriated by the legislature as adjusted by vetoes, fiscal notes, language items, special appropriations and adjustments for carryforward.

Designated General Funds - Includes all non-federal, non-other fund codes that are designated for a specific purpose by statute. The legislature traditionally complies with designations, but may use these funds for any purpose at anytime.

Duplicated Funds - Duplication occurs when money is appropriated more than once. For example, an appropriation of Interagency Receipts to one agency may be backed by an appropriation of general funds to another agency, making the Interagency Receipts an example of duplicated funds. The fund code clarification project of FY10-FY11 greatly reduced the number of duplicated funds. Duplicated funds typically appear in budget reports prepared by the Legislative Finance Division.

Federal Receipts - Funds received by the State from the federal government to support expenditures made by state programs. The legislature appropriates federal funds along with other state funds.

Fiscal Note - An itemization of the estimated costs of proposed legislation, beyond those included in an agency's regular budget submission. Fiscal notes are usually prepared in conjunction with new bills and must be appropriated (usually in the operating budget) before funds may be spent.

Fiscal Year - The period of time over which the State budgets and accounts for funds. The state fiscal year begins on July 1 each year and ends on June 30 of the following year.

Formula Funded Program - A program with certain eligibility standards which provides that any person, group or place meeting those standards may receive a given level of benefits. The standards and benefits must be based in statute and/or regulations.

Funding Sources - Numeric codes used in the budget process to indicate the source of revenue from which expenditures will be supported. The most common funding sources are federal receipts, general fund match, general fund, interagency receipts, and general fund/program receipts.

General Fund - The general fund is the state's primary operating fund. It is used to account for all financial resources except those required to be accounted for in another fund.

General Funds - The overall category of funding sources that are non-federal and are not included in the "Other" funds group.

Governor's Budget Request Books (or SubcommitteeBooks) - Publications produced by Legislative Finance Division providing a detailed summary of the Governor's Operating Budget Request for each state agency at the individual allocation level. These publications are typically used as working documents by House and Senate Finance subcommittees.

Interagency Receipts - Funds received from another state agency or from a separate appropriation within a state agency as a result of a contract for services. The contracted services must be beyond the expertise, capacity, or function of the contracting agency. Most interagency receipts stem from Reimbursable Services Agreements. Interagency receipts are funding sources for expenditures and may be budgeted or unbudgeted.

Language Section - Appropriation items contained in then arrative section of the budget bill. These items generally include program and federal receipt language, debt service, fund transfers, loan balances returned to the general fund, loan fund appropriations, and other special items.

Legislative Intent ("Intent") - A stated goal of the legislature in enacting legislation. Intent does not have the force of law, but it may be used to interpret statutory language.

Management Plan - Authorized level of expenditures at the beginning of the fiscal year plus adjustments to allocations within appropriations made at an agency's discretion. This may include position adjustments - adding or deleting positions with no changes to the allocation funding level.

Operating Budget - A plan for the yearly distribution of state resources to cover the ongoing operations of state programs. Operating budget appropriations are typically made for a fiscal year and any unexpended or unobligated funds lapse, or revert, to the general fund at the end of the fiscal year.

Other Funds - The "other" fund group contains fund codes over which the legislature has limited discretion (such as bonds and debt service). Other funds includes all fund codes that are not included in the federal or general funds groups.

Prior Year Actual - The actual, unaudited operating budget expenditures of the prior fiscal year, including supplementals, RPLs, encumbrances, and unbudgeted RSAs. Each department includes actual expenditures as part of its budget submittal.

Prior Year Authorized - The funds appropriated by the legislature and adjusted by the Governor's veto or funding reduction decisions for the year preceding the current year.

Reimbursable Services Agreement (RSA) - An agreement or contract between two state agencies (or between appropriations within one agency) where one agency provides a service and the other agency provides funds in payment for the service. An RSA is allowed only when the requesting agency does not have the skills, expertise, or capability to carry out the necessary work or service. Also see Interagency Receipts.

Repeal/Reappropriation ("Reappropriation") - Changes to a previously authorized appropriation to reflect a change in title or purpose, or to utilize a lapsing balance for a new project or purpose. Although reappropriations typically occur for capital projects, it is not uncommon to reappropriate operating appropriations.

Revised Program/Legislative (RPL) - A request to increase budget expenditure authorization as a result of the availability of new or additional revenues from federal or other sources which are earmarked for specific uses and purposes. This type of Revised Program requires review by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee.

Session - A meeting of the legislature; or the period during which the legislature conducts meetings for enactment of laws, between convening and final adjournment. The legislature convenes each year on the third Tuesday in January. Each legislature has a duration of two years, consisting of the "First Regular Session" and the "Second Regular Session."

Special Session - May be called by the Governor or by two-thirds vote of the legislature and is limited to 30 calendar days. A special session called by the Governor is limited to the subjects presented by the Governor in the call.

Summary of Appropriations - A publication produced by Legislative Finance Division following each regular legislative session that includes all appropriations bills passed by the legislature and enacted into law. The publication provides summary reports for operating, debt service, capital, loans, supplementals, and special appropriations.

Supplemental - Authorization by the legislature to spend or commit additional funds for the current or prior fiscal year to cover deficiencies. Deficiencies in funding for a program may be due to a law enacted after the transmission of the budget, public interest, audit exceptions, over-expenditure or anticipated over-expenditure, or other emergency or unforeseen circumstance. An agency must be able to demonstrate actions taken to run the program within the existing budget, the inability to transfer other funds within the department to cover the shortfall, and how the supplemental is in the best interest of the State.

Wordage - Clarifying language that is inserted in the numbers section of an appropriation bill. Wordage in an appropriations bill is typically conditional language or intent language.