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Annual Awards Nominations Now Accepted

Nominations are now being accepted for each of ABFM's three annual awards. The deadline to submit nominations for these awards is June 30th. Awards will be presented during our next ABFM Annual Conference in Seattle, WA, on Friday, October 7th. 

Nominations are being accepted for the following awards:

Aaron Wildavsky Award
ABFM established this award in 1993 as a lifetime achievement award for work in budgeting and financial management in memory of Dr. Aaron Wildavsky. Professor Wildavsky was a pioneering scholar in the fields of government budgeting, public policy, and policy analysis.  He is most remembered for his work on the theory and concept of budgetary incrementalism, which was often held in contrast to rational decision approaches to public management and policy outcomes. Nominations should be sent by email to Carolyn Bourdeaux at You will receive confirmation from Carolyn Bourdeaux.

S. Kenneth Howard Award
ABFM established this award in 1986 in memory of S. Kenneth Howard to honor lifetime achievement by a practioner in the field of budgeting and financial management. Dr. Howard was a faculty member at UNC Chapel Hill and held a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and the Institute of Government. Dr. Howard also played a key role in establishing the University’s Master of Public Administration degree program at UNC. Nominations should be sent by email to Robert Kravchuk at You will receive confirmation from Robert Kravchuk.

Michael Curro Award
This award for best graduate student paper was established to honor Michael Curro.  Graduate students who have written outstanding papers in the field as part of a course, independent study, or other faculty supervised project are eligible. Mr. Curro was an active and engaging member of ABFM; serving on the Public Budgeting and Finance editorial board, ABFM’s executive committee, and the board of directors of Public Financial Publications, Inc.

Graduate students who have written outstanding papers in the field as part of a course, independent study, or other faculty supervised projects are eligible. The paper must be nominated by a faculty supervisor and must have been written between June 2015 and June 2016. It may not have been previously presented at a professional conference. Papers written by more than one student are not eligible. The papers can represent a variety of formats and topics within the broader interests of ABFM. In the past, papers have included traditional research efforts, critical literature comparisons, or analyses of financial documents. The topics have ranged across the discipline to include papers on federal budgeting, local government financing, state revenue sources, capital planning, trends in debt issuance, financial and accounting practices, and financing of specific policy functions.

Nomination letters and copies of student papers should be sent as e-mail (.docx file or PDF) attachments by June 30 to Committee Chair, Christine Martell at You will receive confirmation from Christine Martell.

Click here to learn more about these awards and lists of past recipients.

Click here to view the Call for Papers for the Michael Curro Award

2016 ABFM Conference Plans Continue

Another strong crop of panel and paper proposals will be reviewed in the coming month to put together ABFM's next annual conference in Seattle, WA, on October 6th-8th.

"Having received over 250 proposals, we are planning a lively conference of over 50 concurrent panels," said Conference Chair Dan Smith. "In addition to the panels, we will have two plenary sessions, both of which will be designed to not only generate discussion at the conference, but also inspire research agendas after the conference."

Notification of whether or not proposals will be included in the Conference is scheduled to happen before the end of May. Registration for the Conference will open by early June, and registration is required in order to attend.

Questions regarding the upcoming conference should be addressed to Dan Smith,

Pre-ABFM Symposium focuses on Asia

American scholars with interests in comparative studies of public budgeting and finance for Asian countries are strongly encouraged to submit proposals to this symposium for a special symposium scheduled for the site of the 2016 ABFM Conference on Wednesday, October 5th. 

The Journal Chinese Public Administration Review (CPAR), China-America Association for Public Affairs (CAAPA) and The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM) welcome panel or paper proposals for the 2016 pre-ABFM Symposium on Public Budgeting and Financial Management in Asia.

The deadline for proposals is May 31st.

Over the past decade, the field of public budgeting and finance has witnessed a growing number of scholars who are interested in comparative studies between US and various countries in Asia.  With the rise of globalization, American and Asian scholars would both benefit for exchanging research ideas and practical experience on a platform. This year, three partners, CPAR—the official Journal of the Section on Chinese Public Administration of American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), CAAPA – an association established to foster research collaboration and academic exchanges between China and the U.S, and ABFM—the leading US association on budgeting and financial management, are joining forces to provide this platform for international dialogue on theories and practices on public budgeting and finance. The symposium will be hosted at the campus of the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington, ranked by the U.S. News & World Reportas the most innovative public school among the top public affairs schools in 2015. Practitioners as well as academics are encouraged to submit proposals. Topics include but are not limited to the list below.

  • National and Subnational Fiscal Challenges
  • Budget Balancing Strategies
  • Tax Policy & Administration
  • Executive & Legislative Budget Politics
  • Budget Reform, Innovation & Process
  • Intergovernmental Finance
  • Performance Budgeting
  • Debt Financing & Management
  • Capital Budgeting
  • Pension Management
  • Accounting & Financial Reporting
  • Nonprofit Financial Issues
  • Managing Financial Risk
  • Budgetary Theory
  • Comparative Budgeting
  • Citizen Participation in Budgeting
  • Current Trends in Public Finance
  • Budgeting in Specific Policy Areas (such as transportation, housing, education and etc.)

The deadline for paper or panel proposal submissions is March 31, 2016. Proposals should be submitted directly to Professor Lu of City University of New York ( and Professor Zhao of University of Minnesota ( Please include in the subject line: SYMPOSIUM ON PUBLIC BUDGETING AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IN ASIA. Both CPAR and CAAPA will review and competitively select proposals. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by April 30, 2016. Authors whose proposals have been selected will then be required to submit full-length manuscripts by August 1, 2016 to CPAR. Please send all manuscripts via email to the CPAR Editorial Team at:  The manuscripts shall be original, unpublished work, and not under review elsewhere. Manuscripts will then be sent out for blind peer review under the journal’s normal rigorous standards. Manuscripts should follow the style guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 6th edition.


Proposals Being Received for ABFM 2018

ABFM requests that persons interested in forming a host committee for the 2018 Annual Conference submit proposals to the Conference Selection Committee.  The 2018 conference will be located outside of Washington, DC.

Click here to download and view Request for Proposals

The Conference Site Selection Committee chair is Bryan Sullivan. Please submit a document detailing this information by July 30, 2016 to Bryan at

ABFM Members to Gain
Early Access to PB&F!

Starting soon, members of the Association for Budgeting & Financial Management will receive an additional perk with their subscription to our research journal, Public Budgeting & Finance. They will be able to gain EARLY ACCESS to scheduled PB&F articles online in advance of their official publication date.

This benefit will be made possible through registered-user, password-protected access to select pages of the ABFM website. User id's and passwords will be distributed once the advanced access portal is made availble by the journal's publisher. If you are an ABFM member, stay tuned for your user id and temporary password in your email in the coming weeks.

If you are not a member, you can gain this benefit, plus a subscription to Public Budgeting & Finance and other benefits, including discounts to the ABFM Annual Conference, by becoming a member today. Click here to learn more about ABFM membership.

GASB provides Guidance on Pension Issues raised by Stakeholders 

(NEWS RELEASE) The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) today issued guidance addressing practice issues raised by stakeholders during implementation of the Board’s pension accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments. 

GASB Statement No. 82Pension Issues, addresses: 

  • Presentation of payroll-related measures in required supplementary information
  • Selection of assumptions and the treatment of deviations from guidance in Actuarial Standards of Practice for financial reporting purposes, and
  • Classification of payments made by employers to satisfy plan member contribution requirements.
The Statement is designed to improve consistency in the application of the pension standards by clarifying or amending related areas of existing guidance. Specifically, the practice issues raised by stakeholders during implementation relate to the following Statements:

The requirements of GASB Statement 82 are generally effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2016, with earlier application encouraged. Additional information regarding implementation timing is available in the document.


Our next issue of Line Item will include the announcement for nominations for candidates for ABFM Officer and Executive Committee positions. Be on the lookout for this announcement.

GFOA objects to Pension Transparency Bill

(NEWS RELEASE) On March 22, Devin Nunes (CA-22) introduced the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act (PEPTA), HR 4822. This legislation is identical to previously proposed and ultimately unsuccessful versions of PEPTA introduced in the last two sessions of Congress. The act would require sponsors of state and local defined benefit plans to report plan liabilities to the Secretary of the Treasury annually in order to retain their federal tax-exempt bond status. It would also require supplementary reports restating these liabilities, using a so-called “risk-free” assumed rate of return. The data would then be entered into a federal database that would be accessible to the public. Finally, the bill makes it explicitly clear that public pension obligations are the responsibility of state and local governments and that the federal government will not provide a bailout. GFOA opposes this measure and any imposition of federally mandated disclosure and reporting on state and local pension plans.

This proposed expansion of the existing reporting and disclosure requirements would add significant reporting burden to state and local plans, possibly doubling the effort and cost of the current reporting requirements. A small number of well-known jurisdictions have severe pension funding problems, but transparent data resources such as the Public Plan Database ensure that these jurisdictions’ shortfalls are well-known and understood under the current reporting and disclosure requirements. In addition, PEPTA requires the creation of a new federal bureaucracy that would gather, process, and verify the information for the nation’s 2,550 state and local pension plans.

Adding another calculation to public pension plans’ disclosure efforts is not only burdensome but misleading. Significant additional and irrelevant reporting requirements will not correct funding issues. Adding a new number to the reporting and disclosure efforts of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, Actuarial Standards Board, and credit ratings agencies could also impede appropriate funding decisions by causing policymakers to misunderstand the level of contributions required.

GFOA, along with other Public Pension Network members representing both state and local governments and retirement systems, will continue to educate members of Congress about the true fiscal condition of public pension systems, along with considering the extent to which proposed initiatives support flexibility in providing retirement security to public sector employees and opposing congressional proposals to undermine state and local government authority to effectively govern and finance their pension plans. Please stay tuned for a resource page on GFOA’s federal relations page with materials and information you can use in reaching out to your elected officials.

NASBO offers Summary of Governor's Budget Proposals

By Bryan Sigritz (Originally Posted at NASBO)

Over the course of the past several months, governors in 33 states have released their fiscal 2017 budget proposal. Seventeen states enacted a biennial budget last year covering both fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017, although governors in six of these states have proposed a supplemental budget to adjust spending by some extent. This document provides summaries of governors’ budget proposals and links for further information.

Click Here to View NASBO's Summaries of Fiscal Year 2017 Proposed Executive Budgets

For the most part, governors’ budget proposals for fiscal 2017 demonstrate continued fiscal improvements. In both State of the State speeches and in discussing their budget proposals, governors noted improvements in their state since the end of the economic downturn including strong job growth, lower unemployment rates, continued balanced budgets, higher rainy day fund levels, tax reductions, pension reforms, government restructurings, and record high investments in areas such as elementary and secondary education. While most recommended budgets for fiscal 2017 continue to show both revenue and spending growth, governors also expressed the need to remain cautious, show fiscal restraint, prioritize spending, and ensure long-term sustainability. Additionally, in some states, governors’ budget proposals seek to address serious fiscal challenges, most notably revenue shortfalls brought on by the decline in oil and natural gas prices, and issues associated with long-term structural imbalances.  

In the vast majority of states, governors’ budget proposals call for increases in general fund spending. However, in most of these states the recommended level of growth remains below the historical average growth rate of 5.5 percent. Governors once again prioritized K-12 in their recommended budgets, and called for such actions as adjusting the school funding formula, expanding early education, and increasing teacher pay. Most recommended budgets also increased higher education funding, with a number of governors calling for tuition freezes and proposing programs that link higher education to job training and economic development. Transportation and infrastructure was another priority area as a number of governors recommended increased investments to help address deferred maintenance and the long-term needs of the state. Regarding healthcare, most states anticipate smaller increases in overall Medicaid spending as enrollment growth is expected to slow. Finally, some areas received added emphasis this year with many governors calling for increased funding to help address substance abuse, and expanded services for people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.

For the most part, changes in tax policy were relatively modest in fiscal 2017 recommended budgets. Several governors called for further reductions in personal income and corporate income taxes, while others called for additional property tax relief. Most tax increase proposals focused on smaller revenue sources such as increasing tobacco and alcohol taxes. However, some governors from states facing significant fiscal challenges proposed a series of reforms including reducing tax credits, sales tax modernization efforts aimed at increasing revenue, and in one instance the implementation of a modest individual income tax.

AABPA hosting Symposium May 23rd

ABFM's research journal partner, ther American Association for Budget & Program Analysis, will hold their Spring Symposium in the Washington, DC, area on May 23rd.  This is an opportunity for budget and program professionals to join together across agencies and jurisdictions for a day and learn from a variety of speakers, panels and other sessions. The symposium will share resources relevant in promoting core competencies, improving operations and getting ahead of new challenges in the fields of budgeting and policy analysis. More information on this event will be posted at 


Articles of Interest From

NECoPA 2016: Public Administration in the Era of Collaboration
Are We Reaching a Tipping Point?
Service Learning: My Experience on a City Audit Committee
Click Here for Article Submission Guidelines

ABFM is a research section of the American Society for Public Administration

About ABFM
We aim to promote the professional development of budgeting and financial management in the public and non-profit sectors. Embracing both theorectical and operational concerns, ABFM addresses issues in budgeting processes and practice in financial management.

Click Here for Membership Information
Click Here for ABFM Leadership Directory
ABFM's website is made possible by a grant from Public Financial Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation & publisher of Public Budgeting & Finance
Copyright © 2016 ABFM, All rights reserved.

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