Financial Reporting (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)

Financial Reporting (Oppose – Unfunded Mandate)

CS/CS/HB 1019 (La Rosa) requires the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC) to schedule a hearing, following a failure of a local government entity to comply with statutory provisions, to determine if further state action is needed. The bill clarifies that local government tentative budgets must be posted on the local government’s website for 45 days and final budgets and amended budgets must be posted for five years. Beginning in 2018-2019 fiscal year, each municipality is required to have an annual financial audit of its accounts and records. The bill requires the Department of Financial Services to report to the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee the local government entities which fail to submit the Annual Financial Report by April 30.

Beginning in the 2018-19 fiscal year, the bill requires a municipal budget officer to electronically submit information regarding the final budget to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) within 30 days after its adoption. The bill also requires that the budget officer electronically submit to the clerk of the court a copy of the information that was submitted to EDR, a copy of the final budget that was posted on the municipality’s website and a statement certifying that the requirements were completed in a timely fashion. The municipality must also submit to the clerk of the court a copy of its annual financial report and a statement clarifying that the report was timely filed with the department. If a local government entity fails to submit information to the clerk of the court as required, the clerk of the court shall notify the local finance officer to suspend future salary payments for the head of that local government entity. The clerk shall notify the appropriate local fiscal officer to resume payments when the clerk receives the information. The bill gives authority to the Department of Financial Services to extend the deadline for the annual financial report and audit report by an additional 90 days if the governor declares a state of emergency.

Finally, the bill requires EDR to prepare, by June 15, 2018, forms local governments will use to submit the budget information. By December 1, 2018, EDR also must submit a report to the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives identifying a structure to create unique profiles for local governments that would assist the public in making comparisons between those governmental entities, as well as a recommendation for metrics that can be used to rank the local governments based on the final budget information. (Hughes)