A Surplus Budget? July 10, 2012 News By Matt Townsend In a joint session to the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, the Program, Budget & Finance Committee presented the 2012-15 Triennial Budget for the Episcopal Church. Highlights of the $111.5 million budget include a 19 percent diocesan asking rate, 0.7 percent to Millennium Development Goals, funding for education, and elimination of 12 positions at the Episcopal Church Center. Spending is divided into program at 51 percent, corporate at 31 percent, and canonical at 18 percent. Bishop Stephen Lane, vice chair of the committee, said the budget anticipated a $30,000 surplus, a comment that drew skeptical murmurs in the joint session. In addition, $4.1 million of the proposed budget is dedicated toward forming a development office. Deputy Diane Pollard, co-chair of PB&F, said open hearings reminded the committee that the office could generate 100 percent to 1,000 percent returns on the initial investment. Pollard said this would be a one-time grant.