Lost in news coverage of Superstorm Sandy, last week the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) took a step forward for transparency and published state agencies’ current services requests and budget options early, right on the OPM website. Usually released at a later date when the opportunity for public input has lessened, the requests show what agencies are asking for to maintain current services, while the budget options outline possible changes, particularly those that would save the state money.
The new site offers a possible preview of the Governor’s upcoming budget and related legislative proposals. OPM Secretary Barnes has asked agencies to spell out options that would save 5% to keep the state budget under the spending cap, and most agencies have obliged. OPM still must evaluate, combine and edit these requests into a complete budget for release in February 2013, but the documents released on a convenient webpage are a glimpse of some potential elements in next year’s budget. Advocates, media, and citizens, take a look!