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Appropriations for Health and Welfare

Description: 

Most of the state’s public health and welfare programs are administered by three state agencies: the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS, the state’s alternative to Medicaid), the Department of Economic Security (DES), and the Department of Health Services (DHS).

The primary focus of state government public finance is the general fund. Appropriations are approved by the Arizona Legislature before the beginning of each fiscal year, but adjustments to appropriations can be made during the year. Actual expenditures are essentially the same as the latest approved appropriations. The data are reported for fiscal years; for example, fiscal year 2013 runs from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. An annual time series of expenditures are available back to fiscal year 1979 and include appropriations through the current fiscal year. Services provided by AHCCCS were not part of the general fund prior to fiscal year 1983.

In order to compare expenditures over time, the effects of inflation, population growth, and per capita economic growth must be considered. Reporting expenditures per $1,000 of personal income automatically adjusts for all three factors. The fiscal year average (the average of the four quarters of the fiscal year) of personal income is used to standardize the public finance data.

Data Source: 

Expenditures are reported by the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) http://www.azleg.state.az.us/jlbc.htm. The expenditure data are taken from the Appropriations Report; when released late in a fiscal year, the report includes revised appropriations for the current fiscal year and appropriations for the following fiscal year. The Appropriations Report is released several weeks after the budget has been passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor.

Personal income is estimated quarterly by state by the U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm. It is released about three months after the end of the quarter; revisions to estimates for prior quarters are made every quarter.

Data Quality Comments: 

Because of differences by state in accounting systems, the JLBC data are not comparable to those of any other state.

Some of the inputs to the calculation of personal income by state are estimated. Personal income estimates are subject to revision. Figures for the current fiscal year are projected. Personal income is a comprehensive measure of the economy but has conceptual limitations when employed to adjust public revenues and expenditures.

iconAppropriations by Social Service Agency Per $1,000 of Personal Income, Arizona State Government General Fund

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Visualization Notes:

AHCCCS — the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s version of Medicaid — began in fiscal year (FY) 1983. As the program gradually was rolled out during the 1980s, general fund appropriations rose substantially relative to the size of the Arizona economy. Following a decline between FYs 1993 and 2002, appropriations per $1,000 of personal income increased sharply through FY 2012, when the figure about equaled the FY 1993 peak. Since then, appropriations have fallen significantly.

Relative to personal income, combined appropriations for the Department of Economic Security, which administers a variety of public assistance programs such as food stamps, and the new Department of Child Safety between FYs 2010 and 2013 were only about half as much as in the early 1990s, but have increased since then. Appropriations per $1,000 of personal income for the Department of Health Services have not experienced any trend, fluctuating from year to year.

Data Source

Expenditures are reported by the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) http://www.azleg.state.az.us/jlbc.htm. The expenditure data are taken from the Appropriations Report; when released late in a fiscal year, the report includes revised appropriations for the current fiscal year and appropriations for the following fiscal year. The Appropriations Report is released several weeks after the budget has been passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor.

Personal income is estimated quarterly by state by the U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm. It is released about three months after the end of the quarter; revisions to estimates for prior quarters are made every quarter.