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Want to know more about the Federal and State Government Budget Processes?

Budgets are in the news right now with both New York State and the Federal Government needing more money than they actually have. The Federal Budget Process is dictated by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, as well as the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. The President must present the Congress his budget request which is compiled with the help of the Office of the Management and Budget. The Office of Management and Budget makes the Budget of the United States Government available online on its main web page.

Then the United States House Committee on the Budget and the United States Senate Committee on the Budget draft budget resolutions which are then voted on by the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively. The budget resolutions are not laws but provide the framework for the appropriation bills. Once the House of Representatives and the Senate agree upon their respective budget resolutions, selected members of each create a Conference Report to smooth out any differences between the two budget resolutions. This Conference Report must then be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office provides Congress with information and estimates that they need when working on their budget resolutions.

New York State’s budget process is similar but not identical to the Federal Government’s budget process. The Governor of New York State must prepare a balanced budget which he proposes to the Legislature. The Legislature (the State House of Representatives and the State Senate) modifies this proposal and enacts it into law. The Governor is the one who must produce the appropriation bills and any other legislature needed to fulfill the budget. The Executive Budget documents produced by Governor Patterson can be found online.

The Senate’s Finance Committee and the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee review the Governor’s budget, seeking clarification if needed, and then the Legislature acts on the appropriation bills. The budget reform legislation passed in 2007 describes the Legislative process needed to reach a budget agreement. Also, the State Finance Law dictates that the Executive (Governor) and the Legislature must meet and issue a consensus report on tax, lottery, and miscellaneous receipts on or before March 1st. If they fail to do so, the State Comptroller is required to issue one by March 5th.

The Governor’s appropriation bills become law automatically at this point. The bills added by the Legislature and the appropriations for the Legislature and Judiciary must be approved by the Governor. Should the Governor veto a bill, the Legislature can override his veto with a two thirds vote. You can read a more detailed explanation about New York State’s budget process on the New York Division of the Budget’s web site.

Here are some sources of information where you can learn more about the budget making process both in the Federal Government and in New York State:

Other sources of useful information related to the Federal budget process include:

Other sources of information of useful information on the State Budget Process include:

Blog post created by Judith Mueller