Fiscal and Policy Analysis
The fiscal and policy analysis staff focuses on analyzing
the Governor's operating and capital budgets, estimating the fiscal and
economic impacts of proposed legislation, and providing additional support for
the fiscal committees of the Senate and House.
During the annual session, staff is intensely involved with
analyzing and reporting on the changes in the budget; identifying and
evaluating new initiatives, programs, and policies; making recommendations;
presenting findings before the budget committees; and preparing and processing
the operating and capital budgets and supporting documentation.
Additionally, for each bill that is introduced, staff, as
required by law, prepares a "fiscal note" that contains an estimate
of the fiscal impact of the bill on the revenues and expenditures of State and
local governments during the year in which the bill is to become effective and
for the next four years following that year. If a bill imposes a mandate on a
local government unit, the fiscal note also must contain a statement that
identifies the imposition of the mandate, an estimate of the fiscal impact of
the mandate, and, if applicable and if the data is available, the effect on
local property tax rates.
As a part of each fiscal note, staff prepares an economic
impact analysis for each bill to estimate the cost or economic benefit to small
businesses and an economic impact analysis rating to estimate the economic
impact on small businesses. Analyses and ratings must include estimates related
to the following factors, as appropriate: cost of providing goods and services;
effect on the workforce; effect on the cost of housing; efficiency in
production and marketing; capital investment, taxation, competition, and
economic development; and consumer choice.
Prior to the hearing on a bill, copies of the fiscal note
are furnished to the sponsor of the bill and to the standing committee assigned
the bill. Subsequently, if an amendment modifies the original estimate, a
revised fiscal note is issued. Copies of fiscal notes are available from the
Department of Legislative Services and on the MGA Web site.
Fiscal and policy analysis, including budget review, is a
year-round process. Subsequent to the adoption of the State budget, other
amendments are proposed which must be reviewed. In addition to the post-session
review of budget amendments, the ongoing budget analysis process includes
activities such as forecasting trends in the State budget, identifying
significant financial policies of public agencies in the State budget,
determining the fiscal impact of regulations, and conducting revenue and
expenditure forecasts and sunset reviews.