Capital Budget In Focus – With Room to Spare?


The Department of Legislative Services provided a capital overview to the House Appropriations Capital Subcommittee this week.

Screenshot 2016-03-16 11.11.11The presentation included a comparison of the Governor’s 5-year Capital Improvement Plan with the Capital Improvement Plan adopted last year and with the recommendation from the Spending Affordability Committee.

As described by the Department,

. . . the Governor’s planned level of new GO bond authorizations are below the levels established by the Spending Affordability Committee (SAC) and below the levels forecast in the 2015 session Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

The presentation revealed that the Governor’s proposal would reduce spending over a 5-year period below the track set by last year’s budget, and well below the recommendation of the Spending Affordability Committee (SAC). As described,

 Over the five-year plan, the Governor’s proposal removes $209.0 million of planned new GO bond authorizations from what was forecast in the 2015 CIP for the four years that the two plans overlap, and $401.0 million below what SAC recommended in its December 2015 interim report (where it recommended limiting the growth in new GO bond authorizations at 1% annually based off of the $1.045 billion authorized in the 2015 session).

The Spending Affordability Committee is co-chaired by Senator Roger Manno and Delegate
Benjamin S. Barnes.

Both the Administration Plan and the SAC recommendation are below the Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) limit.

Screenshot 2016-03-16 17.25.40
The Governor’s Plan and the SAC recommendation are both below capital debt service limits according to the Capital Fiscal Briefing.

This means that the Legislature may add to the Governor’s proposed capital budget, up to the SAC recommendation.

The capital budget typically becomes a focus for the budget committees shortly after their work on the operating budget concludes. The Senate has the operating budget on the floor this week, and is actively working on capital issues.

For more information, see the Capital Budget Overview and the Capital Fiscal Briefing.