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Appropriations

Description: 

While the primary focus of state government public finance is the general fund, appropriations also are made using other state government funds. Total appropriations from all funds make up less than half of “total authorized spending.” Most of the funds that are not appropriated consist of federal funds, but monies from a variety of other sources, including lottery sales, are included.

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 appropriations from all funds are available back to fiscal year 1989 and include appropriations through the current fiscal year. The historical record for total authorized spending is much shorter.

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 and Authorized Spending Per $1,000 of Personal Income, Arizona State Government

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Visualization Notes:

General fund appropriations per $1,000 of personal income rise and fall cyclically but have trended down since the early 1990s. The fiscal year (FY) 2016 figure of $33.47 is the lowest on record and is 34 percent less than the FY 1992 peak and 24 percent less than the value in FY 2008, at the beginning of the last recession. In contrast, appropriations from other than the general fund relative to personal income increased from between $5 and $7 between FYs 1989 and 1994 to as high as $13, but the FY 2016 value was down to $12.03. The value was 9 percent higher than in FY 2008. Since the general fund accounts for the majority of the appropriations, total appropriations also have trended down, with the FY 2016 value of $45.50 18 percent lower than in FY 2008.

A considerable amount of total authorized spending that is not appropriated, most of which consists of federal funds provided for specific purposes. Since FY 2003, not appropriated monies have ranged widely from $61 to $82 per $1,000 of personal income. While the figure does not display a trend, the FY 2016 figure of $69.53 was 12 percent higher than the FY 2008 figure. Total authorized spending, which includes appropriations from all funds plus not-appropriated monies, has ranged between $114 and $132 per $1,000 of personal income since FY 2003. The FY 2016 value of $115.03 is 2 percent lower than the FY 2008 figure.

iconTotal Appropriations by Type Per $1,000 of Personal Income, Arizona State Government

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Visualization Notes:

Relative to the size of the Arizona economy, total appropriations for health and welfare and for corrections have fluctuated over time since the early 1990s without any trend. In contrast, total appropriations per $1,000 of personal income have fallen for the rest of state government. Between FYs 1996 and 2016, similar points in the economic cycle, the figure fell 23 percent for K-12 education, 29 percent for higher education, and 23 percent for other programs.

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.