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Decision No. 744

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April 27 1995
In Re: Legality of Budget Procedures in the East Ohio Conference.

Digest of Case

As originally presented, the East Ohio Conference budget proposal did not meet the Disciplinary requirement that both anticipated income and proposed expenditures shall be included. The bishop's ruling of law does not address the question asked, and is neither affirmed nor reversed.

Statement of Facts

At the 1994 session of the East Ohio Conference, the following request for a decision of law was presented to the presiding bishop, Edwin C. Boulton: Does the budget presented by the East Ohio Conference Council on Finance and Administration meet the requirements of Paragraph 710.1 and 711 of the Book of Discipline which directs the Conference Council on Finance and Administration to recommend to the Annual Conference for its action and determination budgets of anticipated income and proposed expenditures? The bishop ruled: The Disciplinary usage of the word budget is qualified. The word budget, as it appears in the Book of Discipline at Paragraph 710.1 lines 2 and 3, and Paragraph 711, is couched in this language: "budgets of anticipated income and proposed expenditures." Therefore, the qualifying issue of anticipated and proposed is literally contained (in) the Book of Discipline, at (the) two points of reference I have indicated. There are contingency concepts provided in Paragraph 710.7 allowing for inadequately budgeted funds to be cared for through procedures adopted by the Annual Conference. There is no qualification implied in the Disciplinary language with reference to the presentation of Conference Benevolent budgets. The CCFA is instructed to establish the total amount to be recommended to the Annual Conference as the Conference Benevolence budget, and within that amount, the total sum to be recommended for distribution among the Conference program agencies. The direct answer to your question is that the Disciplinary usage of the word budget is qualified by the words "anticipated" and "proposed." JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2613 of the 1992 Discipline. ANALYSIS Though the bishop's response is accurate in citation of portions of the Discipline, it does not answer the question being asked. That question is, very simply, does the conference budget as proposed by the Conference Council on Finance and Administration meet the Disciplinary requirement that anticipated income as well as proposed expenditures must be included. (Pars. 710.1 and 711) That question is not addressed in the bishop's ruling. It is not difficult to understand why the question would be raised. As supplied to the Judicial Council for examination, the proposed budget does not include a line clearly labeled "Anticipated Income." There is included a detailed statement of receipts for the previous year, compared with the apportioned amounts. The comparison is simplified by summary lines indicating the amount of unpaid apportionments. To arrive at an estimate of anticipated income, as required by the Discipline, there should be added any funds from sources other than apportionments. Lacking this information, the proposed budget as presented did not meet the Disciplinary requirement that estimates of income as well as expenditures must be included. he bishop's decision of law is neither affirmed nor reversed.

Decision

As originally presented, the East Ohio Conference budget proposal did not meet the Disciplinary requirement that both anticipated income and proposed expenditures shall be included. The bishop's ruling of law does not address the question asked, and is neither affirmed nor reversed.

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