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Budgeting basics?

Published (1/30/2009)
By Mike Cook
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Looking at state budget documents can be confusing and almost make one’s head spin.

During a Jan. 29 overview to the House Public Safety Finance Division, House Fiscal Analyst Gary Karger tried to lighten things up by sharing something he read from an Illinois budget document.

“There was no education anywhere that can teach you the legislative budget process. You just have to go through it.”

He later quoted another Illinois document that offered agencies some guiding budget principles.

“Number one is spend all your money and more if possible, otherwise the Legislature will feel it did not screen the request properly and will cut your next biennial budget,” he said. “Avoid sudden increases or decreases. The changes should be small.”

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