The State’s budgetary process is an integrated, continuous system of planning, evaluation and controls. State law requires that, no later than each September 15, the Joint Legislative Budget Commission prepare a long-range State financial outlook. The outlook includes major workloads and revenue estimates and recommends fiscal strategies to assist the legislature in making budget decisions. State agencies are also required to develop goals and objectives consistent with the State long-range planning document.
Individual State agencies prepare and submit appropriation requests to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budgeting (OPB), generally no later than October 15 of the year preceding legislative consideration. From recommended appropriations and revenue estimates, the Governor submits a recommended budget to the legislature. The House and Senate each adopt their respective versions of the appropriations bill and any differences are worked out by a conference committee. The conference committee adopts a committee version of the appropriations bill which is then voted on. After passage of the appropriations bill, the bill is sent to the Governor, who has seven days (15 days if the Legislature has adjourned or taken a recess of more than 30 days) after the bill is presented to him to sign or exercise his line item veto power before the bill becomes law.
The State has completed the budget for the next fiscal year prior to the end of the current fiscal year. Only one time in at least the last 60 years was the budget not completed prior to the start of the fiscal year. In 1992, the budget was implemented on the first day of the fiscal year. In this instance the payment of all financial obligations and the delivery of services occurred normally.
With almost all of the State’s debt paid semi-annually, debt service payments generally occur at intervals which provide additional time before a payment is due if a budget was not adopted before the start of the fiscal year. Debt service payments due at the beginning of a fiscal year are paid from appropriations of the prior fiscal year.
In the event a budget was not adopted before the beginning of the fiscal year, the legislature and the Governor could authorize appropriations for debt service even if they did not agree on other appropriations.