Budget Process

State Agencies Budget Requests 

Executive Offices - Public Hearings

Budget Bureau


Document released as House 1

House Committee on Ways and Means - Public Hearings

Document out of House Committee favorably - New House bill number

House Ways and Means text sent to full chamber;
Representatives may offer amendments and debate bill

Committee on Bills in Third Reading - Technical corrections 

New House bill number

Bill passed to be engrossed 

Senate Committee on Ways and Means - Hearings 

New Senate bill number (Senate Ways and Means text) 

Senate Ways and Means text sent to full chamber;
Senators may offer amendments and debate bill 

Committee on Bills in Third Reading 

New Senate bill number 

Bill passed to be engrossed
Senate bill sent to House 

Conference Committee - Conference Committee Report 

Governor signs, vetoes or vetoes part of budget 

Chapter number, Acts of ... 

A 2/3 vote in each chamber can override Governor's veto of a line item or outside section.


Budget Terminology


Appropriation Acts: Acts that are never codified as a whole within Massachusetts General Laws. Find appropriation acts by searching the index in year's Acts & Resolves under topic "appropriations."

Conference Committee: Three members from each chamber, members of their respective Ways & Means Committees, confer and resolve differences between House and Senate final versions of the budget. The resulting conference committee reports cannot be amended; rather, the report is accepted or rejected in whole.

Fiscal year:
Massachusetts fiscal years run from July 1 - June 30th. Fiscal year is named for year in which it ends, so FY96 begins July 1, 1995 and ends on June 30, 1996.

Line item: A separate unit of appropriations indicated by a unique eight-digit account number. Historically, the line item budget organized spending by expenditure type, rather than by program.

Outside section: The portion of the budget not dedicated to actual appropriations. The outside sections establish the rules and constraints on spending from appropriations and often makes other law changes necessary to achieve savings or underlying cost assumptions associated with appropriations. Generally, outside sections begin after Section 3 of the general appropriation act.

This information is provided by The State Library of Massachusetts.