by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
The upcoming legislative session will begin the state’s biennial, or two year, budget cycle. Each biennium begins in an odd-numbered year and also ends in an odd-numbered year. For example, the 2015-17 biennium covers the period from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017, and includes fiscal years 2015-16 and 2016-17. Even though the new legislators won’t be sworn into office and the legislative session won’t start until January 2015, budget preparations will have started months earlier.
So, how much will the next biennium’s budget be and will there be a surplus or a deficit? Only time will tell us these things. What we do know is that according to the timetable for the budget, this month OSBM will begin meeting with agencies to share the Governor’s draft budget recommendations. The Governor is scheduled to finalize his 2015-17 budget recommendations by the end of February. He will update his budget in late-February with enrollment and revenue figures before he releases his budget to the public and the legislature in March 2015.