Patrick - Eastern Michigan University

PLSC 615- Public Budget Applications
Winter 2015
Wednesdays 6-7:50 pm
Pray Harrold Hall Rm#419
Dr. Barbara Patrick
Office: Department of Political Science, Pray Harrold Hall
Office Hours: 12:30-2pm TH; 3:15-5 pm TTH or by appointment
Phone: (734) 487-1453
E-Mail: [email protected]
Contacting the Professor. The preferred way of contacting the professor is through e-mail or during office hours. I
check my e-mail almost daily (except when on travel) and will respond. If you send an e-mail, I may ask for a phone
number to contact you for follow-up, if necessary.
Lee, Robert, Ronald Johnson, and Philip Joyce (2013). Public Budgeting Systems, 9th Edition.
Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Clynch and Patrick, A Budget Simulation, available later in the semester.
The instructor will place materials through Myemich or in the office to be copied by the student.
The instructor will also distribute other items in class. Students are responsible for all materials.
Chen, Greg, Dall Forsythe, Lynne Weikart, and Daniel Williams (2009). Budget Tools: Financial
Methods in the Public Sector. CQ Press, Washington, DC.
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the skills and tools to analyze, synthesize,
think critically, solve problems, and make budget decisions. The first part of the course
introduces students to budgeting concepts, theories, and practices. The second part allows
students to incorporate everything learned through participating in a budget simulation that will
assess their ability to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make budget
Budget decisions allocate scarce resources between competing claimants.
 The seminar provides a basic understanding of public budgeting decision-making
processes and financial management practices.
 The seminar examines budgeting not only as a technical instrument, but also as an
element of politics.
 The seminar uses cases and other exercises to help students improve their analytical,
decision-making, verbal and written communication skills.
 The seminar gives students the opportunity to acquire experience in revenue
estimation, budget preparation, budget review, and budget decision-making through
participation in a budget simulation.
Class Attendance and Etiquette:
Class attendance is very important. You have 2 absences, after the second absence your grade
will drop ½ a letter. Repetitive late arrivals will also result in an absence. If you arrive late or
must leave early it is your responsibility to inform me; also it is very important that you arrive on
time on exam days. If you arrive after the first student completing the exam has left the room,
you will not be allowed to complete the exam. Make-up exams are only given with adequate
documentation at the end of the semester. Class attendance on days that student present days is
also very important. Failure to appear on present days without an excused absence will result in
a grade deduction. Late arrivals on presentation days will also affect your presentation grade.
Classroom Conduct:
Students should conduct themselves in ways that are consistent with promoting an efficient
learning environment for themselves and everyone else. Students should be conscientious,
helpful, properly motivated to learn, honest, and respectful of others and their opinions at all
times. Such conduct is consistent with generally regarded norms of professionalism, including
those found in graduate, professional degree programs. If a student “commits the offense of
disorderly conduct when he/she does any act (e.g. being disobedient) in such unreasonable
manners as to alarm or disturb another and to provide a breach of peace,” the professor reserves
the right to deduct points for inappropriate conduct and refer the student to the University for
further investigation of the matter. The professor also reserves the right to excuse the student
from class for the remainder of the semester and give the student a letter grade of “F” for the
University Policies:
Students With Disabilities: If you wish to be accommodated for your disability, EMU Board of
Regents policy #8.3 requires that you first register with the Access Services Office (ASO) in
room 203 King Hall. You may contact ASO by telephone at (734) 487-2470. Students with
disabilities are encouraged to register with ASO promptly as you will only be accommodated
from the date you register with them forward. No retroactive accommodations are possible.
Notice to all foreign students (F and J visa): To comply will all federal regulations, please
contact the EMU office of International Students (OIS), 244 EMU Student Center, 734.487.3116
Academic Honesty:
Each student in class is expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty.
Cheating and plagiarism violate the rules of the University and the ethical standards of
professional public administration. Cheating and plagiarism will be punished to the full extent
allowed by University rules and regulations. Plagiarism is generally defined in your student
handbook as presenting as your own work that done by someone else, even if only an idea and/or
not quoted directly. Cite, quote, and when in doubt, ask the instructor. Those caught cheating
will be given a zero for the work in which the cheating occurred. Possible plagiarism will be
dealt with on a case by case basis. In addition, you may be referred to the Office of Student
Judicial Services for discipline that can result in either a suspension or permanent dismissal. The
/Student Conduct Code/ contains detailed definitions of what constitutes academic dishonesty,
and it can be accessed online at
Observance of Religious Holidays
University Policy: Eastern Michigan University recognizes the rights of students to observe
religious holidays without penalty to the student.
University Practice: Students will provide advance notice to their instructors in order to make
up work, including examinations that they miss as a result of their absence from class due to
observance of religious holidays. If satisfactory arrangements cannot be made with the
appropriate instructor(s), students may appeal to the head(s) of the department(s) in which the
course(s) is/are offered.
There are many resources on line regarding the observance of religious holidays; here is one site
with an extensive listing of holiday dates:
Weekly Assigned Readings: Bring all assigned reading to class each week. Most will be
referenced or will be used during in class exercises. Students presenting a chapter(s) should provide
the instructor and classmates with an outline of the chapter. (You should develop an outline of the
chapter as well as a power point presentation. Your developed materials should be e-mailed to
the professor and your classmates before class). Student will assign up or select chapters to
present on January 7th the night of the first class.
Supplemental Readings: Additional readings will be assigned throughout the semester. These
readings will be accessible through EMU’s library on-line.
Short Exercises: Short Homework Exercises will be given during class period. I encourage you
to take these homework exercises very seriously as they will have an immense impact on your
final grade. Students should be prepared to discuss these exercises in class and should bring a
hard copy of the assignment to submit to the instructor IN CLASS the night the assignment is
due. Every effort should be put forth to doing the work on your own time and not just while in
class. Five points will be deducted (per each day) for any homework exercise submitted after
class on due date.
Budget Simulation: Budget Simulation reports are due on the assigned date(s) given by the
professor. Students should submit an electronic copy via email to [email protected] prior to
the start of class and bring hardcopies of reports to class for submission for a grade. Five points
will be deducted (per each day) for any parts of the budget simulation that are not submitted by
the assigned due date.
Tests: The exam(s) will cover required readings and distributed items. Two exams will be given
to include the final exam. All exams must be taken during the scheduled time. You are strongly
encouraged not to miss a scheduled exam. If you miss an exam or other assignment, it is your
responsibility to contact me as soon as possible to inform me of the situation. Make-ups will not
be given without documented excuses, which I must approve.
Class Participation: It is expected that students will come to class prepared to discuss the
assigned readings. Points will be awarded to those who intelligently participate in class
discussions. This essentially means questions, observations, or argument that helps the general
understanding of the class as a whole. These points must be earned, and will not be awarded
automatically for speaking up in class. In the (unlikely, I hope,) event that it becomes apparent
that insufficient numbers of the class have read the assigned material, quizzes will be
administered. These will be graded and rolled into the more general grading scheme.
Chapter Presentation and Short Exercises: 20%
Midterm Exam: 15%
Final Exam: 15%
Class Participation: 5%
Budget Simulation: (Total 45%)
Revenue & Expenditure Projections 10%
Department Budget Request
Budget Analysts’ Questions/Review 5%
Budget Hearing Presentation
Final Budget Review and Recommendation
Week One (January 7, 2015)
Introduction and Class Overview
Week Two (January 14, 2015)
Chapter 1: Lee, Johnson, and Joyce Introduction
Chapter 2: The Public Sector in Perspective
Chapter 4: The Budget Cycle
Week Three (January 21, 2015)
Chapter 5: Budgeting for Revenues: Income Taxes, Payroll Taxes, and Property Taxes
Chapter 6: Budgeting for Revenues: Transaction-Based Revenue Sources
Reading the Budget Assignment Given
Week Four (January 28, 2015)
Chapter 7: Budget Preparation: The Expenditure Side
Chapter 8: Budget Preparation: The Decision Process
Reading the Budget Assignment Due
Week Five (February 4, 2015)
Abney, Glenn and Thomas Abney (2002). “Gubernatorial Use of the Item Veto for Narrative
Deletion.” Public Administration Review, 62(4): 492-503.
Abney, Glenn and Thomas Lauth (1998). “The End of Executive Dominance in State
Appropriations.” Public Administration Review, 58(5): 388-394.
Reese, Catherine (1997). “The Line-Item Veto in Practice in Ten Southern States.” Public
Administration Review, 57 (6): 510-516.
Duncombe, Sydney and Richard Kinney (1987). “Agency Budget Success: How It is Defined by
Budget Officials in Five Western States.” Public Budgeting & Finance 7(1): 24-37.
Coe, Charles, and Deborah Wiesel (2001). “Police Budgeting: Winning Strategies.” Public
Administration Review, 61(6): 718-727.
Douglas, James and Roger Hartley (2001). “State Court Strategies and Politics during the
Appropriations Process.” Public Budgeting & Finance, 21(1): 35-57.
Week Six (February 11, 2015)
DiNapoli, Thomas (2005). “Local Government Management Guide: Understanding the Budget
Process.” Office of New York State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School
Accountability, Albany, NY. (Available on-line for download)
National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting (1999). Recommended Budget Practices:
A Framework for Improved State and Local Government Budgeting. The Government Finance
Officers Association, Chicago, IL. (Available on-line for download)
Preparing a Personnel Services and Operating Budget Handout
Homework: Revenue Projections (Instructions will be provided in class)
Week Seven (February 18, 2015)
Power Point Presentation of Revenue and Expenditure Projections
(You should be creative with your presentation. Create charts, graphs, etc.)
Orange County Case Given
Week Eight (February 25, 2015)
Midterm Exam
Orange County Case Due
Week Nine (March 4, 2015)
Chapter 13: Capital Assets: Planning and Budgeting, Analysis, and Management
Hoffman, Susan, Norman Krumholz, Kevin O’ Brien and Billie Geyer (2000). “How Capital
Budgeting Helped a Sick City: Thirty Years of Capital Improvement Planning in Cleveland.”
Public Budgeting & Finance, 20(1): 24-37.
Pagano, Michael (2002). “Municipal Capital Spending during the Boom.” Public Budgeting &
Finance, 22(2):1-20.
Bunch, Beverly (1996). “Current Practices and Issues in Capital Budgeting and Reporting.” Public
Budgeting & Finance, 16(2):7-25.
Case Assignment Financing Capital Projects Given
Week Ten (March 11, 2015)
Chapter 14: Capital Finance and Debt Management
Simonsen, William and Mark Robbins (1996). “Does It Make Any Difference Anymore?
Competitive versus Negotiated Municipal Bond Issuance.” Public Administration Review, 56(1):
Brecher, Charles, Kurt Richwerger, and Marcia Van Wagner (2003). “An Approach to Measuring
the Affordability of State Debt.” Public Budgeting & Finance, 23(4): 65-85.
Robbins, Mark and Casey Dungan (2001). “Debt Diligence: How States Manage the Borrowing
Function.” Public Budgeting & Finance, 21(2): 88-105.
Gamkhar, Shama and Mona Koerner (2002). “Capital Financing of Schools: A Comparison of
Lease Purchase Revenue Bonds and General Obligation Bonds.” Public Budgeting & Finance,
22(2): 21-39.
Financing Capital Projects Case Due
Week Eleven (March 18, 2015)
Chapter 15: Intergovernmental Relations
Budget Simulation Assignment of Agency Heads and Reviewers
Week Twelve (March 25, 2015) Winter Break
No Class (Work on your budget request. A copy of the request should be provided to
the budget reviewer/analysts and the professor no later than 12:00 p.m. on the day
before your presentation. Students scheduled to present their budget on April 1st, for
example, should email a copy of the request to the budget reviewer/analyst on March
31st. Students should also submit an electronic copy of the report the professor at
[email protected] Five points will be deducted for submission after 12:00 p.m. An
additional five point will be deducted for each day the submission is late.)
Week Thirteen (April 1, 2015)
Budget Simulation: Budget Reviews (This is your opportunity to convince the budget
reviewer that your request should be funded)
-create a power point presentation
-provide handouts to the audience, etc.
-creativity is an important factor to budgetary success
-You may use pictures, videos, testimonies, etc. You are free to use any evidence to justify
why your request should be funded.
Week Fourteen (April 8, 2015)
Continue with Budget Simulation: Budget Reviews
Groups will meet for a Mark-up Session and Ranking of Requests to the Mayor for
Recommendations on Funding Budget Requests and develop a recommendation to be
presented to the Mayor on April 15th.
Week Fifteen (April 15, 2015)
Final Presentation: Recommendation to the Mayor on Funding Budget Requests
Week Sixteen (April 22, 2015)
Final Exam