Governor Sanders Sends Letter to Cabinet Secretaries and Department Directors Outlining Budget Expectations for Biennial Budget

Government and Politics

June 6, 2024

From: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent a letter to her cabinet secretaries and department directors laying out the expectations for the 2025 – 2027 biennial budget. The text of the letter is below and can be found here.

Dear Cabinet Secretaries and Department Directors:

Thank you for your leadership and continued support of my administration’s key priorities. We have made progress in reducing government spending and returning cost savings to the people of Arkansas, but I know we still have more work to do.

As we look forward to my first biennial budget as Governor, I want to remind you of the promise I made to the people of Arkansas and charge you with carrying it out. We must limit the growth of government and improve efficiency at state agencies while still investing in the areas of greatest need. Achieving all those goals in one budget is a great accomplishment, taking hard work, diligence, and fiscal discipline. We just came out of a fiscal session, passing a budget for FY25, that did just that. I am confident we can do even more in our biennial budget.

For the 2025 – 2027 biennial budget, agencies will meet with the Department of Finance and Administration and Governor’s Office staff to discuss agency priorities. You may make requests for appropriation changes for non-General Revenue funded programs through the Agency Request process. However, all General Revenue increases will be done exclusively through Executive Recommendation. I have laid out clear priorities for my administration, like education, public safety, and outdoor recreation, and predict that we will focus our investment in these areas.

My expectation is that each agency and its leadership take initiative during this budget process to deliver on our shared promises to the people of Arkansas. I know all of you are Arkansas taxpayers. Do you believe your tax dollars are spent wisely? Are there any programs from which you do not get your money’s worth? You should put your focus on any such programs during this budget process.

Please make note of the following items as you prepare your budget:
- Arkansas Forward: We are making great progress through the Arkansas Forward initiative in all focus areas: IT, state procurement, real estate, personnel, organizational effectiveness, and vehicle assets. The results of this initiative will drive Executive Recommendations for this biennium. Please continue to focus closely on this initiative which will help us deliver better, more efficient state government services at less cost.
- Identify Savings: I expect state agencies to continue to find cost savings opportunities outside the scope of Arkansas Forward. Please work to reduce costs throughout your agency while still delivering quality services to the people of Arkansas.
- Personnel: Agencies should not request any personnel changes. Personnel items will be reviewed as part of the Arkansas Forward initiative. Any personnel changes will be done exclusively through Executive Recommendation.

It is critical that we present the legislature with budget requests that put an end to government’s spiraling growth, while still fulfilling the priorities Arkansans elected me to implement. I look forward to your consideration and to working together collaboratively to cut costs, improve services, and make Arkansas the best state in America to live, work, and raise a family.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Governor of Arkansas