Monthly Archives

May 2021

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Fact Versus Opinion in Lobbying: What Holds More Clout?

By | General Lobbying

Lobbying is the art of influencing key policy makers in regard to specific issue areas that might affect one or more clients the firm represents. Lobbyists give a voice to businesses by presenting strong and credible information to the people that matter. 

So when it comes to lobbying, what tends to hold more clout, facts or opinions? 

Differences Between Facts and Opinions

To better understand which of the two holds more weight when presenting an argument in front of policy makers, it is important to understand the differences between the two.

Facts

  • Can be verified
  • Are based on research
  • Universally accepted
  • Not debatable
  • Has the power to influence

Opinions

  • Beliefs or judgements 
  • Based on personal views or experiences
  • Cannot be verified
  • Vary depending on the individual 
  • Debatable
  • Have the power to influence

Making the Best Argument as a Lobbyist

Any good lobbyist will know that the most successful lobbyists know how to make a compelling argument that will benefit their clients’ best interests. A key strategy is to  thoroughly explain how the issue will affect their constituents. It is important to get specific when presenting information, as this can be the difference between earning their support or opposition.

Additionally, you will want to anticipate any opposition or counterarguments, and be prepared to respond in a truthful and precise manner. The best policy is to always be honest and be able to back up your arguments with factual evidence.

Why Opinions Should Be Used Carefully

Opinions should be used carefully when presenting an argument, as unsupported opinions cannot only weaken your argument but also your credibility as a lobbyist. 

If your opinion cannot be backed up by reliable sources, then it is best to be left out of the conversation no matter how strongly you might believe it. Instead, try to find a connection between your opinion and factual data. Finding specific evidence that supports your opinion will go a long way in establishing your credibility.

Let Dorn Policy Group Assist Your Business

As one of Arizona’s premier lobbying firms, we know how important it is to be noticed by key policy makers. By partnering with Dorn Policy Group, you can rest assured knowing that you have skilled advocates looking out for your best interests. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you!

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How State Budgets are Built and Executed

By | General Lobbying

Every year, or every other year, states face the task of creating budgets that adequately address the needs of their residents while also maintaining their short-term and long-term fiscal objectives. Each state’s budget reflects an estimate of the amount of revenue the state will collect. Depending on the state, this figure is determined by the governor, the governor and the legislature, the legislature, or an independent commission.

The Budget Calendar

For most states, the fiscal year runs from July 1 to the subsequent June 30. The exceptions are New York (whose fiscal year starts April 1), Texas (September 1), and Alabama, the District of Columbia, and Michigan (October 1).

The public budget discussion typically starts when the governor issues his or her budget proposal by a date specified in the state’s laws or constitution, which generally takes place in January or February.

The budget cannot take effect until the legislature approves it and the governor signs it. This is supposed to take place before the start of the fiscal year. If states miss the deadline they must pass temporary spending bills to keep the government running until the budget is enacted and/or temporarily shut down.

State Budget Timeline

The budget cycle varies by state, though most follow a similar pattern. First, the state budget office (in the executive branch) sends instructions to state agencies to follow in preparing their budget requests. These instructions provide a template for presenting financial and descriptive information. They also set limits on certain types of requests and expectations depending on the fiscal environment.

Next, agencies submit these requests to the budget office who then develop the executive budget proposal based on the governor’s priorities. The governor’s budget deadline ranges across states from November to March and is submitted to the legislature. The legislature will then hold committee hearings and deliberate various sections of the budget. Once an agreement is reached, the legislature passes the budget which then goes to the governor for approval. From here, the governor must sign it in order for it to become law or veto it to revise the budget before signing.

Approaching the Budget

Different states use different methodologies to make budget decisions. Most states develop budgets on an incremental basis where they start with a baseline of current spending or service levels and focus more attention on justifications for relevant spending increases or decreases.

Additional ways states approach budgeting is through program budgeting or performance budgeting. Program budgeting brings more focus to programs or activities as the primary budget units, and incorporates information on program missions, goals, and effectiveness. Many states also use performance budgeting to allocate resources based on measurable results.

In addition, nearly all states have a rainy day fund or budget stabilization fund. These funds are only able to be expended if certain conditions are met. Most states also have separate reserve funds specifically for natural or manmade disasters.

Monitoring and Executing the Budget

State budgeting is a continuous process and must be monitored frequently. Throughout this cycle, expenditures and revenues are monitored to ensure funding needs are met. Budgets are also monitored to make sure state resources are sufficient to fulfill spending obligations. Thirty-two states issue interim expenditure monitoring reports on a monthly basis.

States also use their ability to shift funds around as an execution tool. For example, the state budget office may transfer appropriations between departments, between programs within a department, and between spending categories within a program.

Grow Your Network With Dorn Policy Group

Dorn Policy Group specializes in business growth and government relations with our vast network in the Arizona business and political community. We help our clients achieve their growth objectives by connecting them to decision-makers and business leaders. Contact us today to learn more.

woman and man working in a lobbying office together

How a Large Network Benefits You and Your Community

By | General Lobbying

In today’s business environment the people you know and the connections you have are of equal if not more value than what you know. A business network is a vital aspect for every business owner, especially small businesses and start-up companies. 

Getting in front of influential people in your community can open many doors for you and your business. These relationships have a big impact on the success of your business as the knowledge gained during networking is invaluable. There are plenty of ways to network, especially now with the accessibility of virtual events. Whether they’re business seminars, networking groups, or professional associations there are many benefits to gain.

Benefits of Networking

Knowledge

One of the biggest benefits of having a large network is the amount of valuable information and knowledge you will be getting from industry professionals and business leaders. Staying on top of industry trends, business developments, or legislation can keep you aware of things that might be affecting your business. 

Advice

This is especially important for start-up businesses that are trying to get established or begin expanding business efforts. Getting in contact with other successful business people can provide you with advice on what choices to make to further your business. Whether you’re trying to expand your products, service areas, or are having trouble finding reputable vendors or creating partnerships, there’s a high chance these businesses have gone through a similar scenario and can share their thoughts.

Connections 

Who you know will have a major impact on the success of your business. Getting in touch with industry leaders and influential people within your community can create many opportunities for you. Once you put yourself out there, your contacts pool will grow immensely because once you build a connection with a business leader, you will also get connected to all of their contacts. These connections are mutually beneficial, as they can support you and you can give your expertise on matters that affect them.

Better Opportunities

Once you have developed a valuable relationship with fellow business leaders, you will create a sense of trust. This trust will present you with business opportunities that otherwise you would not have received. These opportunities can come in the form of partnerships, expansion, acquisition, leads, sales, and many others.

Elevated Profile

By being actively involved in your community and growing your network, you will elevate your profile among other business leaders. Having a strong network will increase your credibility and pull people in your direction who want to connect, collaborate, or get your expertise. Having a reputable network will not only look good in the sense that you are associated with influential business leaders but also frame you as a knowledgeable, reliable professional.

Grow Your Network With Dorn Policy Group

Dorn Policy Group specializes in business growth and government relations with our vast network in the Arizona business and political community, we help our clients achieve their growth objectives by connecting them to decision-makers and business leaders. Contact us today to learn more.