Investing For Results

13. Results-Focused Budget Process

Does the state incorporate evidence in its budget process?

The state has improved outcomes by prioritizing data and evidence in its budget process through guidance to agencies and engagement with the legislature.

New Mexico

Leading Example

A 1999 New Mexico law required all state agencies to submit annual performance-based budget requests that include outputs, outcomes, performance, and evaluation data. The 2019 Evidence and Research Based Funding Requests Act (SB58) amended the 1999 law by defining four tiers of evidence and further requiring certain state agencies (selected annually by the state legislature) to “identify each sub-program as evidence-based, research-based, promising, or lacking evidence of effectiveness” and report on the amount allocated for each of these evidence tiers. Each year, the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) issues budget instructions that provide guidance for agencies for budget expansions (limited to committee priorities) and evidence-based programs as promulgated by the LFC’s Legislating for Results framework. LFC also provides training and technical assistance collecting data for program inventories pursuant to the 2019 state law.

In 2021, the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee launched a new initiative called LegisStat, the first of its kind in the country. These meetings are led by the joint House-Senate committee that dives into root performance challenges (and successes), much like the PerformanceStat model.

Additionally, the state budget and associated budget documents from the LFC include a wealth of performance data as called for by the Accountability in Government Act, which drives the state’s performance-based budgeting processes. These budgeting processes define performance measures (outputs and outcomes) to annually evaluate the performance of state government programs. The General Appropriations Act contains performance data for many agencies with LFC providing additional analysis and reporting in their policy and performance analysis, budget recommendation, supplemental charts and graphs, and post-session review reports. Furthermore, agency report cards, which include many budget measures, are updated quarterly to outline budget needs. When possible, these metrics are also examined in terms of equity and communities of color, often when these data are reported in the context of evaluated programs.

Issue Areas: Child Welfare, Criminal Justice, Economic Mobility, Education, Equity, Health, Workforce

Promising Examples

Colorado

Illinois

Maryland

Minnesota

Mississippi

North Carolina

Oregon

Rhode Island

Tennessee

Utah

Washington