At www.open.sd.gov (state government’s financial-reporting website) there’s now a category titled Budget Transfers and it’s an eye-opener. Truly millions of dollars are shown shifted within departments and agencies of state government. Most of the activity took place in the past 30 days. State government’s fiscal year ends June 30, but for practical purposes the closing comes in mid-June. Each of the transfers comes with an explanatory note. Some notes are easier to understand than others. Here is one example from the Department of Human Services about several moves that produced a gross transfer of $350,000:
Transferred $200,000 in general funds from Rehabilitation Services and $150,000 in general funds from South Dakota Development Center- Redfield to Developmental Disabilities. This is a one-time transfer from operating expenses to operating expenses. The funds transferred will cover shortfalls in the Developmental Disabilities area due to serving more people longer than originally anticipated. Funds are available in Rehabilitation Services due to lower than anticipated utilization in the Assistive Daily Living Services waiver program and available in South Dakota Development Center due to lower than anticipated prescription drug and contractual services costs.
And here’s an example from the Secretary of State that shifted $10,000:
Transferred $10,000 in federal fund expenditure authority within the Secretary of State. This is a one-time transfer from operating expenses to personal services. The funds transferred will be used to cover shortfalls in personal services due to additional staff time utilized during 2014 on the election process. The funding is available due to lower operating expenses than budgeted during the fiscal year.
There’s a $4,210,000 transfer within the Department of Corrections:
Transferred general funds from Juvenile Community Corrections (JCC) ($2,700,000), State Treatment and Rehabilitation Academy (STAR) ($70,000), and QUEST/ExCEL ($200,000) to the following areas: State Penitentiary (SDSP) ($1,075,000), Women’s Prison ($100,000), Parole Services ($200,000), Inmate Services ($1,455,000), Administration ($35,000), Mike Durfee State Prison ($35,000), Parole Services ($25,000), Youth Challenge Center ($20,000), Patrick Henry Brady Academy ($12,500), and QUEST/ExCEL ($12,500). Transferred $1,210,000 in federal fund expenditure authority from JCC to federal fund expenditure authority in Inmate Services ($200,000) and SDSP ($100,000), and to other fund expenditure authority in Administration ($870,000) and JCC ($40,000). Transferred $30,000 of federal fund expenditure authority within STAR. This is a one-time transfer from operating expenses to operating expenses, operating expenses to personal services, and personal services to personal services. Funds are available due to fewer juvenile expenses than previously anticipated and turnover in the Juvenile Corrections programs. Funds will be used to cover shortfalls in multiple programs due to overtime, repairs of facilities, and physical plant costs, along with remodeling costs associated with the training center, inmate healthcare, and Title I Transitional Services provided by staff.
State government likely will report a surplus for fiscal 2014 after June 30. Revenues were running slightly ahead of the revised projections adopted by the Legislature a few months ago. The state Bureau of Finance and Management began a new “dashboard” feature this month that will provide quick-read snapshots of various financial conditions (http://bfm.sd.gov/dashboards/) and the May report shows general-fund revenue was $1.8 million ahead. Meanwhile, the budget-transfer reports provide a deeper look into what’s happening within state government and reflect the difficulties of forecasting. Altogether there are 21 transfers so far in June, two in May, two in April, one in January, one last September, four last August and two last July. If the financial moves and demands for services within state government interest you, this will be interesting reading. The June 2013 transfer reports are posted there too. Get to work!