Combating California's complex and lengthy budget process requires proper analysis and strategic planning.

Budget Practice

The state budget process is a unique, often insular, process that is unlike the normal legislative bill process. It starts in early January and depending on the extent of the revenue shortfall, is often not completed until September or October, much past the June 15th deadline. While the budget expenditures and reductions are reviewed in the Budget Conference Committee giving the Budget Committee the opportunity to shape the budget bill, significant funding decisions are commonly left to closed door meetings of the “Big Five,” which are the Governor and the majority and minority leaders of each house.

Spirited meetings, press conferences, trial balloons and political posturing are familiar parts of the Big Five negotiations. This is also a very high risk time for business interests as new budget solutions are often proposed without ever being discussed in the budget committee process.

KP Public Affairs plays a leading role in the state budget negotiations and has worked closely with the Executive Branch, Legislative leadership and the budget staff. For the past 20 years, KP has successfully managed efforts to create tax credits, fight attempts to impose new fees and taxes on specific industry sectors and create special programs that provide new opportunities for our clients.

Through the state budget process, we have successfully secured funding for client projects, shaped bond funded programs to reflect client needs and impacted tax policy to better position our clients for growth and development. Our firm plays a very active role at each step of the budget process. With a multi-billion deficit on the horizon for the next several years, KP will continue to address major threats and identify opportunities for our clients.

KP Services include the following:

• Develop a strategy to address the budget goals of our clients and determine the key measures of success to achieve those goals.

• Meet with the Governor’s office and the Department of Finance prior to the release of the budget proposal in January. This allows us to help shape some of the fiscal decisions early in the budget process and identify potential threats and opportunities for our clients.

• Engage with legislative leadership of both parties, Budget Committee Chairs, key budget staff, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office on issues of importance to our clients.

• Develop a communications plan to support the legislative strategy. The communications plan would include message development, proactive media relations, outreach to and engagement with relevant stakeholders, and in-district constituency involvement and mobilization.