Massachusetts government is funded on a fiscal year basis. The 2012 fiscal year runs from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.
For information on the current fiscal year, see the FY2011 Budget Summary
Overview of the budget process
|Fiscal year 2012 budget documents||Budget-writing steps|
The budget begins as a bill that the Governor submits on the 4th Wednesday in January (or five weeks later if at the start of a new term) to the House of Representatives.
House Ways & Means Budget
The House Ways and Means Committee reviews the Governor's budget and then develops its own recommendation.
Individual representatives submit budget amendments which are then debated on the House floor. Once debated, amended and voted on by the full House, it becomes the final House budget bill and moves to the Senate.
Senate Ways & Means Budget
The Senate Ways & Means Committee reviews both the Governor's and House budgets and develops its own recommendation.
Individual representatives submit budget amendments which are then debated on the Senate floor. Once debated, amended and voted on, it becomes the final Senate's budget bill.
State Finance law requires the Governor to submit budget revisions to his proposed budget if revenue forecasts predict a shortfall after the original submission.
Conference Committee Budget
House and Senate leadership assign members to a "conference committee" to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate bills. The conference committee report can only be approved or rejected - no additional amendments can be made.
Once approved by both chambers of the Legislature, the Governor has ten days to review it. The Governor may approve or veto the entire budget, or may veto or reduce particular line items or sections, but may not add anything.
The House and Senate may vote to override the Governor's vetoes. Overrides require a two-thirds roll-call vote in each chamber.
The final budget is also known as the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or "Chapter 68 of the Acts of 2011."