State Budget Process
The following is a rough outline of a common state budget process. The steps always proceed in this sequence, but the timing can vary greatly from one year to the next.
Fiscal year begins.
Sept - Dec
Governor's office begins preparing budget recommendations for the following fiscal year.
Governor's budget recommendation ("House 1") is released - third week of January.
Jan - March
House and Senate leaders begin developing their own budget recommendations.
House Ways and Means Committee recommendation is released. The full House then debates the House Ways and Means recommendations, considers amendments and votes on a final House recommendation. Amendments can be presented by any representative. Debate typically begins several days after the Ways and Means Committee recommendation is issued.
Senate Ways and Means Committee recommendation is released. The full Senate then debates the Senate Ways and Means recommendations, considers amendments and votes on a final Senate recommendation. Amendments can be introduced by any senator. Debate typically begins several days after the Senate Ways and Means recommendation is issued.
A House-Senate Conference Committee meets to work out any differences between the House and Senate bills. The Conference Committee typically includes three senators and three representatives, led by the Chairs of the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees.
The Conference Committee bill then goes to the Governor. The Governor can reduce or eliminate spending in individual accounts, but cannot increase amounts. The Governor has ten days to review the legislation, file vetoes and return the bill to the Legislature.
Legislature meets to consider veto overrides. Overrides require two-thirds majority votes from both branches of the Legislature - though the House has the sole authority to introduce an override. The Legislature typically has 48 hours to consider and vote on overrides.
The final legislation is returned to the Governor for signature.
Fiscal year ends.