The Legislative Budget Board (LBB) announced a strategic fiscal review (SFR) of the state budget at this week's House Appropriations Committee meeting. What is a strategic financial review? Think of it as zero based budgeting on steroids. The LBB was directed to do the SFR on selected state agencies by Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio). The selected state agencies represent about 21% of the total of the all funds budget for the 2014-15 biennium.
For those agencies selected the SFR will be detailed, looking at historical operations of each major function within each agency. The study will review program effectiveness, return on investment and potential alternaive methods of functional delivery. The process will include looking at options for alternative funding methods, increased transparency and analysis of the programs centrality to the function of the agency and legislative priorities.
The SFR analysis is designed to provide additional resources for the development of the appropriations bill during the next session and give legislators a more robust and detailed analysis to assist members in making more infomred budget decisions.