Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst

Statement of Mission, Purpose, Goals and Values

We affect good government through objective, accurate, relevant budget advice and documentation.

We assist elected officials in managing the State's long-term fiscal health by monitoring obligations, measuring risk, and planning contingencies. We help legislators establish a balanced budget by forecasting revenue, staffing appropriations subcommittees, and drafting appropriations bills. We estimate budget impacts and regulatory burdens for all proposed legislation. We regularly monitor and report on program implementation, performance, and management. We support decision making by printing and disseminating bills, fiscal notes, performance notes, and other materials. We document and preserve legislative action.

We value honesty, integrity, accountability, professionalism, equality, open mindedness, mutual respect, dialogue, independence, flexibility, innovation, opportunity, intellectual enrichment, and personal and professional relationships.

While our products change regularly, they include:

Long-term Sustainability:

  • Fiscal Health Dashboard - This online resource shows the latest condition of fiscal measures like revenue and spending, but also covers greater measures of financial health like extent of long-term obligations, status of reserves, and performance of economic indicators against assumptions. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(i))
  • Budget Stress Tests - These simulations provide insight into the impact an economic downturn might have on state revenue and expenditures, which can then provide information to legislators, and others, about how much the state should set aside in reserves to endure a downturn. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(f), (i) & (j); JR3-2-402(2)(a))
  • Revenue Trend Analyses - This product places current revenue estimates in the context of historical collections and the business cycle. It can be used to ascertain the sustainability of current or projected collections and to determine appropriate saving or spending commitments. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(f); JR3-2-402(2)(a))
  • Revenue Volatility Report - This triennial report measures the experienced variability of state tax and fee collections. Policymakers may use the magnitude of that variability to determine appropriate reserve ratios. (UCA 63J-1-205)
  • Economic and Demographic Analyses - These analyses predict future values for things like tax collections, school enrollment, Medicaid roles, transportation needs, debt affordability, liability limits, and other fiscal issues. They also produce indicators of economic health like wages, employment, housing, births, deaths, and migration, among others. (UCA 63G-7-605); JR3-3-102)
  • Tax Revenue Simulator - This interactive tool allows policymakers and interested public policy researchers to change tax rates, tax bases, earmarks, and other factors and see the government revenue impact of selected policies. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(r))

Annual Budgeting:

  • Revenue Forecasts - These estimates of future tax collections establish a target for budgeting. Forecasts are developed in consensus with private sector consultants, the Governor's Office of Management and Budget, and the Utah State Tax Commission. Point forecasts are made in December and February with ranges updated in June and October. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(f); JR3-2-402(2)(a)(i))
  • Committee and Subcommittee Proceedings - This product includes all meetings and actions of the Executive Appropriations Committee and appropriations subcommittees. Specific documents include agendas, minutes, audio/video recordings, subcommittee reports, and meeting materials. (JR3-2-303; JR3-2-401)
  • Compendium of Budget Information (COBI) - This online resource detail's Utah's budget and related financial authorizations. It contains summaries of issues faced by legislators, performance measures, background information (including references to statutory authority), and financial history. It is provided as a companion to appropriations bills considered by the Utah State Legislature. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(r))
  • Budget Priorities Lists - These documents rank order budget changes according to the affirmed priorities of an appropriations subcommittee. The Executive Appropriations Committee and various caucuses use the lists to compile a unified balanced budget. (JR3-2-402)
  • Requests for Appropriation Review - A legislator wishing to obtain funding for a project, program, or entity, without enacting an associated statutory change, may file a request for appropriation with the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst. Each request is reviewed by the LFA and considered by a subcommittee during the annual general session. (JR3-2-702)
  • Subcommittee Reports to the Executive Appropriations Committee - These reports compile all the action taken by each subcommittee for consideration of the Executive Appropriations Committee. Subcommittee actions affirmed by the Executive Appropriations Committee form the basis of appropriations bills. (JR3-2-402)
  • Appropriations Bills and Acts - These pieces of legislation, typically the first ten House and Senate bill numbers in each session, officially authorize expenditure of taxpayer resources. These acts typically include: base budget bills, compensation bills, agencies fees and internal service fund rate bills, supplemental appropriations, and the "bill of bills". (JR4-2-502, JR3-2-402(2)(a)(vii))
  • Appropriations Limit Formula - This published mathematical equation depicts the state appropriations limit for each fiscal year. The formula is based on prior appropriations per capita, indexed to population growth and inflation. (UCA 63J-3-206)
  • Budget Quick Facts Card - This pocket-sized card provides a high level overview of the state budget, including a summary of all fund sources, uses, and selected economic and demographic data. The card also highlights the uses of state sources (General and Education Funds) and how the Legislature allocated new revenues. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(k))
  • Interactive Budget Visualization - This online tool allows users to graphically picture Utah's budget by use, funding source, and budget change item. Users can also sort, filter, and drill down on areas of the budget. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(k))
  • Budget of the State of Utah - This comprehensive report provides a snapshot of legislative budget actions and the state's financial condition. Statute requires the Legislative Fiscal Analyst to complete the report annually. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(k))
  • Budget Slide Show - This PowerPoint file provides a high-level summary of the latest state budget, ideal for Legislator adaptation and use at town hall meetings, conferences, or other speaking engagements. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(r))
  • Taxpayer Receipt - This online interactive tool allows a taxpayer to view an estimate of how the taxpayer's tax dollars are spent for state government purposes. (36-12-13(2)(q))

Fiscal, Regulatory, and Performance Impacts:

  • Fiscal Notes - A fiscal note estimates the direct and measurable costs, savings, revenue gains, or revenue losses associated with implementing a piece of legislation. Fiscal notes are required for every piece of legislation and show impacts for state agencies, local governments, individuals, and businesses. A fiscal note is not a price tag, a cost/benefit analysis, or a funding trigger. Fiscal Notes are not intended to influence the passage a bill. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(b)-(d); JR4-2-403)
  • Dynamic Fiscal Notes - Standard fiscal notes estimate three years of impact and assume no behavior change. Dynamic fiscal notes project for more than three years and provide four hypothetical scenarios for what might happen in the economy if individuals and businesses change their behavior as the result of a bill. Dynamic fiscal notes are done by legislator request only. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(r))
  • Regulatory Impact Analyses - These analyses, included on fiscal notes, indicate whether a proposed bill will change regulatory burden for Utah residents and businesses, and if so, whether a bill increases or decreases the burden and whether the change in burden is high, medium, or low. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(e))
  • Performance Review Notes - These notes document the performance measures and targets agencies plan to use when implementing legislation that creates new programs or significantly expands existing programs. They are intended to help legislators understand what is expected of the expanded services. (JR4-2-404)

Program Implementation and Management:

  • Issue Briefs - These short analyses by staff inform the Legislature on a certain issue. They may have options for potential action or be informational only. (UCA 36-12-13(2))
  • Tax Exception Tracking - This online resource provides a detailed and up-to-date inventory of information about the application and usage of Utah tax exceptions to inform both economic forecasting and Legislative decision-making regarding current and future exceptions. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(r))
  • Fiscal Note and Budget Item Follow-up Reports - This report reviews selected items from past Sessions and assesses implementation status, budget accuracy, and performance. Each item is scored with a red-yellow-green stoplight indicator for each of the three assessment criteria. The report is used to improve the accuracy of estimated costs or revenues in future Sessions and to identify other budget recommendations. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(g); JR3-2-501(3))
  • Executive and Judicial Compensation Commission Recommendations - This document outlines compensation recommendations for (1) statewide elected offices: Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Auditor, and State Treasurer; (2) state judges; and (3) members of the State Board of Education. (UCA 67-8-4)
  • Research Requests and Findings - This category of product includes fiscal research requested by legislators and research findings from the typical work done by analysts. The resulting products range anywhere from confidential communication to more formal reports. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(r))
  • Ad Hoc Surveys, Reviews, and Reports - This category includes custom reports and other documents published by the Office that are not otherwise specifically required. Examples include detailed information supporting appropriation acts, surveys performed upon request of legislators or national organizations, and specialized research completed during the interim. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(r))

Documentation, Administration, Internal Controls, and Training:

  • Digest of Legislation - These publications summarize passed legislation from each annual general session and any special sessions along with a "bills not passed" list. They also include a statistical summary and history chart from the past five years. (UCA 36-13-1)
  • House and Senate Journals - These compellations summarize proceedings of the full House of Representatives and full Senate. They track readings, committee reports, amendments, substitutes and votes for each bill introduced in a general session, special session, or extraordinary session. (UCA 36-13-1)
  • Laws of Utah - These books comprise the full text of enrolled bills from each annual general session and any special sessions. The volume includes a Technical Action Index, Code Sections Affected Index, subject and bill number indexes, and vetoed legislation along with the Governor's veto letters. (UCA 36-13-1)
  • Financial, Human Resource, and Administrative Records - These forms and functions execute the day-to-day operations of the Office. They provide prompt and accurate payment, and assure internal record keeping in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and policies. (36-12-13(2)(o)-(p))
  • Internal Accounting - This function assures proper financial oversight of the Office and the Legislative Services line item. It includes development of and adherence to adequate internal controls for financial transactions to prevent accidental errors and potential fraud. (36-12-13(2)(o)-(p))
  • Policies and Procedures - This document records "way of doing business", establishes processes, sets expectations, and facilitates communication within the Office. It outlines specific methods to ensure the Office's day-to-day operations are compatible with state laws and regulations and provide adequate internal controls. (36-12-13(2)(o)-(p))
  • Fiscal, Regulatory, and Performance Notes Training - Prior to each General Session, the Legislative Fiscal Analyst trains stakeholders who provide input to Fiscal Notes, Performance Notes, and regulatory impact analyses. The training covers requirements for each type of note, information on the latest changes to those requirements, and a thorough review of the interactive software program used to submit input. (UCA 36-12-13(2)(b)-(d); JR4-2-403)
  • Process and Products Training - This collection of documents and videos is a resource for legislators and Legislative Fiscal Analyst staff on a variety of topics including: use of electronic systems; budget and state policies; budget task assignments; instructions; and documentation for onboarding and training of new staff. (36-12-13(2)(o)-(p) Ad hoc surveys, reviews and reports.

Budget.Utah.Gov | Reports/Archive | Budget Process | Office Background | Who's Who | Organization Chart


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Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst
House Building, Suite W310
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone (801) 538-1034 Fax (801) 538-1692