Making a list and checking it twice - that’s what nearly 500 poor budget elves at the governor’s Department of Finance are doing these days.
“The day after Christmas, we will be back here in the state Capitol reading and proofing and editing budget documents for the budget summary that will come out on January the 10th,” says Finance's H.D. Palmer.
With a lot of late nights, too.
“The governor, in mid-December, finalizes his decisions on what he wants in his budget,” Palmer says, “and then we go to work. We start implementing those decisions, we start writing them up, we start programming everything, we write the legislation in – all those things have to be done within a span of several weeks.”
And not just proposed spending levels. The budget often unveils the governor’s signature policy proposals for the coming year as well.
Palmer is staying coy about the budget’s contents – other than to say Brown’s top priorities are building a reserve and paying down debt.