State Budget Documents: Treasure Troves of Information for IT Vendors

By Rachel Eckert, SLED Manager

State budgets are certainly not the most exciting topics in the world, but they offer many clues into key areas where you can target your sales campaigns. Budget documents provide insight into the areas state and local governments plan to invest funds, identify areas of concern and often outline key priorities for the upcoming year or two.

Most state governments operate on a July 1 through June 30 fiscal year. The process starts with agencies receiving guidelines from the governor on priorities and mandates for the upcoming year. This typically occurs during the fall and is the best time to work with agencies as they scope out their business cases for inclusion in next year’s budget.

Agencies work with their budget office to finalize budgets before submitting final documents to the governor. With the governor’s approval, final budgets are submitted to the legislature, typically in the winter. The legislature is then tasked with reviewing, reconciling and approving before the start of the next fiscal year.

By the end of January, most states have submitted their budgets to the legislature and governors are beginning to make their “State-of-the-State” speeches which outline their budget priorities. While you can find the text and video recordings for each of these speeches online, here are some of the key themes you’ll see in many FY2021 budgets and what they might mean for you:  

Prioritizing Education

Revenue growth from FY2018 and FY2019 has given many states extra funds to put towards expanding early education, increasing teacher pay, adjusting K-12 school district funding formulas and improving school safety. School safety continues to be a concern and despite additional funds from the state, budgets are always tight. Vendors who provide technology that quickly detects, analyzes and communicates security issues in real time will help stretch finite resources.

Medicaid Expansion

You’ll see many states expand the qualification for Medicaid, which will cause a cascade of changes to eligibility and Medicaid systems. Technology vendors should keep an eye on states with recently expanded Medicaid programs for updates to data warehouses, new system integrations and additional analytical requirements.

Increasing Data Sharing & Integration

Cross-agency collaboration is increasing in many states as more and more states recognize the benefits and efficiencies that come from working jointly to solve significant problems like school safety or fraud. Opportunities for technology vendors will come in the form of goal-specific pilot projects but as success is realized, they will expand to additional areas of the government.

Delving into the state budgets can be a great avenue to building pipeline, affording you the opportunity to identify and scope projects that already have funding. Many of the activities outlined in the budget are still in the early planning stages, giving you the opportunity to partner with those state agencies as they build out their business cases.

 

If you’d like help scouring the state budgets in your territory, reach out to the immixGroup Market Intelligence team today.

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