City of Lawrence wins 7th GFOA budget award


The City of Lawrence has been awarded a Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2023 budget. That marks the city’s seventh consecutive year winning the award.

“Providing a transparent view of the funding and the financial future for the City of Lawrence has been a priority for Mayor (Steve) Collier ever since he took office in 2016,” according to a city announcement. “On the city’s website, the public has access to past budget proposals, adopted budgets, monthly financial reports, audit reports, citizen guides, Lawrence Utilities budgets and more.”

The 2023 budget and other financial information can be viewed at

According to the GFOA website, there is a fee to submit a budget for consideration, based on population. For a city the size of Lawrence, the fee was $575.

There currently is a dispute between the Lawrence Common Council and the mayor’s administration over the 2022 budget, which reverted to the 2021 spending plan after the council-approved budget for that year was not submitted to the state by deadline. The 2022 budget document that won an award did not include information about its reversion.

Some of the criteria listed for a budget to win an award are that it include a table of contents that makes it simple to locate information; a coherent statement of organization-wide, strategic goals and strategies that address long-term concerns and issues; a budget message, such as a transmittal letter, that articulates priorities and issues for the upcoming year, significant changes in priorities from the current year and the factors that led to those changes; an overview of significant budgetary items and trends; a description of the process for preparing, reviewing and adopting the budget for the coming fiscal year, including procedures for amending the budget; a summary of major revenues and expenditures, as well as other financing sources and uses; projected changes in fund balance/net position for appropriated funds; major revenue sources; budgeted capital expenditures; and financial data on current debt obligations.