GC80 Deputy Update: Liz Yount - July 10
Follow the Money – A New Path
Submitted by Liz Yount
While at General Convention there are those that identify themselves as Church geeks, Prayer Book geeks, Hymnal geeks, even Archive geeks. I am here as your numbers geek. Yes, I love all things numbers (not the book of the Bible, but 1,2,3…). There have been three resolutions thus far in the Convention that have spoken to me as your numbers’ enthusiast.
First, Resolution A155, Revising the Parochial Report Finance Page, doesn’t that sound exciting! Under this amendment, the 80th General Convention authorizes the creation of a task force to revise the finance page of the parochial report, ultimately reporting its recommendations to the 81st General Convention. What does this mean? Finally, someone is going to take a careful look at the financial requirements for each dioceses’ assessment and apportionment to the National Church as determined under the that pesky parochial report. The task force will collect data, assess whether there might be a more equitable calculation, an easier calculation, even a process that includes currency conversion for our international diocese. There is so much to consider, stay tuned, in two short years we will hopefully have something we like better.
Second, Resolution A048 which addresses the recommendations of the Task Force on the Budget Process that was created via resolution at the last Convention. I know, I know, it really doesn’t get any better than this! For those intimately involved in the budgeting process for the National Church, they know it is clunky, cumbersome, and many considered broken. It was the recommendation that the Program, Budget and Finance committee be disbanded and instead, the budget process be run by an Executive Office of the General Convention. This would hopefully help streamline the process, provide more transparency, and avoid the handover to PB&F that was difficult, time consuming, and inefficient. This deputy was, however, concerned that while this proposed process might be more efficient, the slate of those allowed to participate in the budgeting process would be diminished. Floor Amendment FA036 addressed this concern by ensuring hearings that would allow all deputies a voice in the budget. Finally, the new process will allow the new Executive Office to evaluate and incorporate funding for resolutions passed at convention into the current budget. The resolution passed and now I can’t wait to experience our new budgeting methodology.
Lastly, how could there be a report from your numbers geek if we didn’t talk about the $100.5 million, two-year budget. While the Convention is typically a triennial event, since the 80th Convention was delayed one year, we are only two years away from the next. The two-year budget of approximately $100 million was two-thirds of the triennial budget of $153 million, yes, it all makes sense. A couple of points to note, there was an income surplus created in the past few years – a hot market for investing and COVID that curbed spending being the primary sources. The PB&F committee designated $5 million of the surplus to this proposed budget to offset the expected loss of investment income in today’s down market. Additionally, there is $2 million designated to fund resolutions passed by this Convention. While this will not cover all the requests, it was what a balanced budget allowed.
Over the next two years we will follow the money down a new path. Come walk with me!