Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Budget cuts expected to be 'draconian'
At the afternoon Legislative Session, a letter from the Program, Budget, and Finance (PB&F) was read aloud to the House of Deputies. It was reported that the actual budget shortfall is closer to $14 million and that significant cuts will be made across the spectrum of the budget.
It was also suggested that the 'diocesan asking' may be reduced (the amount each diocese is asked to contribute to the church) in hopes that a lower 'asking' might result in more dioceses actually paying it in full. This diocesan asking is the primary source of income for the national church.
The budget committee is digging in deep, working well past midnight to come up with the budget that they plan to announce to a joint session of the House of Deputies/Bishops on Wednesday's afternoon Legislative Session. In fact, the budget has been completed and is now being printed in preparation for Wednesday. In addition to broad cuts, it is likely to contain 'creative proposals' for reducing the costs of the next General Convention as well as the expenses associated with the various committess and task forces that will meet over the next three years.
After the budget is announced on Wednesday, we will all know and feel the pain that these economic times, and the impact of reduced giving and membership, have wrought. I doubt anyone will come out unaffected. Lack of funds will certainly impact resolutions with financial implications, which in turn will impact the way we fulfill out mission in the next three years.
The rubber is about to hit the road.