State agency budgets cover one biennium, or two fiscal years. A biennium runs from July 1 of an odd-numbered year to June 30 of the next odd-numbered year. For example, July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015. The budget development process has three major phases:
- Agency Request
- Governor's Budget
- Legislatively Adopted
Agency Request Budget
Agencies start budget development early in even-numbered years to develop their agency request budget. The budget starts with the cost of maintaining existing programs, then adds, removes, or adjusts the budget with what are called packages. The agency request budget lays out finances and policies for consideration by the Governor.
The Governor and his Chief Financial Office review the budget request and use the Governor’s priorities, budget policies, and current law to make budget decisions, revising what the agency requested. The Governor’s Budget gets presented to the Legislature for consideration.
Legislatively Adopted Budget
During legislative sessions in odd-numbered years the Governor’s Budget is presented to the Legislature. Legislative committees review the proposed budget and hold public hearings to hear from the agency and the public. Each agency budget has a budget bill that gets voted on by the legislature. Budget bills that are enacted into law make up the legislative adopted budget. Agencies carry out, or execute, the budget over the two-year budget period. The budget can be adjusted during legislative sessions of even-numbered years or by meetings of the legislative emergency board. The Legislatively Adopted Budget along with these changes makes up the Legislatively Approved Budget.