Massachusetts is now preparing its state budget for Fiscal Year 2013. There are specific steps we take in developing our state budget.
January - April
Step 1: Governor's Budget
The budget begins as a bill that the Governor submits in January to the House of Representatives.
Step 2: House Ways & Means Budget
The House Ways and Means Committee reviews the budget and then develops its own recommendation. House Ways and Means Committee holds public hearings. This new bill is sent to the full House chamber, where Representatives may offer amendments and debate the bill
Step 3 : House Budget
Once debated, amended and voted on by the full House, it becomes the House budget bill. This bill is passed by the House to be engrossed, then sent to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
May - July
Step 4: Senate Ways & Means Budget
At this point, the House passes its bill to the Senate. The Senate Ways & Means Committee reviews that bill and develops its own recommendation. The Senate Ways and Means Committee holds public hearings.
Step 5: Senate Budget
The bill is sent to the full Senate chamber; Senators may offer amendments and debate bill. Once debated, amended and voted on, it becomes the Senate's budget bill.
Step 6: Conference Committee Budget
House and Senate leadership then assign members to a joint "conference committee" to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate bills. Once that work is completed, the conference committee returns its bill to the House for a vote. If the House makes any changes to the bill, it must return the bill to the conference committee to be renegotiated. Once approved by the House, the budget passes to the Senate, which then votes its approval.
Step 7: Vetoes
The Governor signs, vetoes, or vetoes part of the budget, but may not add anything.
Step 8: Overrides
The House and Senate may vote to override the Governor's vetoes. Overrides require a two-thirds majority in each chamber.
Step 9: Final Budget
The final budget is also known as the General Appropriations Act or "Chapter nnn of the Acts of 20xx." The final budget consists of the Conference Committee version, minus any vetoes, plus any overrides.
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.