The Department of Finance advises the Governor’s Office on policy and budget issues that impact the people of California and have national policy implications. Finance Budget Analysts play a key role in helping to inform public policy decisions, the state budget, and legislation in all areas of government such as health care, education, environmental regulation, and public safety.
Finance develops the Governor’s annual budget proposal, which outlines the Administration’s policy and fiscal goals for California. Through the annual budget process, Finance Budget Analysts become policy experts in their field, responsible for advising policymakers on important issues facing California. As part of this process, Finance Budget Analysts may:
- Review, analyze, and make independent recommendations on funding requests from state departments;
- Conduct surveys, investigations, and forecasts of state programs;
- Consult with local, state, and federal officials and various stakeholders to develop informed recommendations on fiscal and policy issues; and
- Draft and review legislation necessary to carry out the proposals in the Governor’s Budget.
After the release of the Budget in January, a Finance Budget Analyst becomes the public representative of the Administration, responsible for defending the Governor’s budget proposals. Through budget enactment in June, Finance Budget Analysts:
- Explain and defend the Governor’s proposals through testimony in legislative budget hearings and meetings with legislative staff;
- Analyze budget proposals from the Legislature and Legislative Analyst’s Office;
- Assist in the development of budget compromises that factor in legislative, departmental, and stakeholder concerns; and
- Keep Department of Finance executive management and the Governor’s Office apprised of any sensitive issues that arise.
Throughout the year, Finance Budget Analysts:
- Perform continuous oversight of departmental budget appropriations and make mid-year changes when necessary to address unanticipated costs;
- Provide information and instruction to departments on fiscal procedures, budget administration, and other related issues; and
- Analyze legislation in an assigned policy area for fiscal impacts on the state
This position calls for a diverse skill set, and requires individuals to work well both in a team and individually. Strong communication skills are needed for public speaking, to develop thorough written analyses, and to lead problem-solving efforts with other Finance staff and colleagues in state departments. To support problem-solving, the position also requires a capacity for inquiry and the ability to ask well-thought out and open-ended questions to gain a thorough understanding of the assumptions and data behind requests and recommendations. A solid understanding of basic mathematical, economic, and statistical principles is critical for analyzing the fiscal implications of policy decisions and evaluating the long-term stability of state programs.