Budget Process FAQ's
Q: What is a Budget
A: Members of the House at large may submit requests to amend
the Governor’s introduced budget. Every House member who
submits a budget amendment is given the opportunity to speak to his
or her request before a subcommittee.
Q: Where can I find a
Budget Amendment form?
A: You can download a form by clicking on the appropriate link
below. Forms can also be downloaded by clicking on the
"Committee Information" tab above. Forms may also be picked up
in person at the Appropriations Committee Office on the 9th floor of
the General Assembly Building.
- 2016 Budget Amendment Form
- 2016 Budget Amendment Form
- 2016 Nonstate Agency Budget Amendment Form
- 2016 Nonstate Agency Budget Amendment Form (.doc)
Please note that forms are provided in Microsoft Word (.doc)
format and Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (.pdf) for your
convenience. The deadline to submit
completed Budget Amendment forms (including
ALL co-patron signatures) is 5:00 p.m.,
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2016.
Q: How do I fill out a
Budget Amendment form?
A: Follow the steps below -
- Select the House Budget Bill that your budget
amendment request relates to. lets look at 2008 for example, it was
an even-numbered year, so the budget bill number will be either HB29 (for the Governor’s proposed budget bill for the biennium
currently in effect until June 30, 2008 also known as the
“Caboose Bill”) or HB30 (Governor’s proposed budget bill for the
upcoming biennium, July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2010).
- Fill out the name of the Delegate proposing the budget
amendment and secure his or her signature for the completed
- Fill in the agency (such as, the Department of
Education, Transportation, Social Services, etc.) whose budget
will be affected by the amendment. If you don’t know the
agency name, fill in the name of the affected program or
activity, or contact House Appropriations Committee staff to
help you determine which agency or section in the budget would
be affected by the budget amendment.
- In the area titled “Increase/Decrease”, indicate
whether the budget amendment is a request to increase or
decrease proposed funding in the budget for a particular
program, activity or agency. Next indicate the amount of
funding requested for the budget amendment (indicate a reduction
by using a minus sign or parentheses) by general fund (GF)
monies or nongeneral fund (NGF) monies. General fund
monies are those derived from state taxes levied on individual
and corporate income, sales, public service corporations, and
insurance companies. General fund revenue is the major
source of support for many state functions. Nongeneral
fund (consist of special fund revenues, higher education
operating monies (tuition, special revenues and federal grants),
highway maintenance and construction funds, trust and agency
funds, and federal trust funds. If you are unsure of
whether general fund or nongeneral fund monies are affected, put
the amount under general funds and make a note under the
explanation section and Committee staff will contact to ensure
the amendment is drafted correctly.
- If the request impacts employment levels for the
program or activity associated with the amendment request,
indicate under the section labeled “Employment Level.”
Indicate whether the request is to increase or decrease the
employment level and enter the number of full-time equivalent
positions requested or eliminated by the fund source (either GF
general fund or NGF nongeneral funds).
- Finally, please include a brief description of the
amendment or attach explanatory materials. This is
especially important in case there are any questions about the
- If there are House members who wish to co-patron the
amendment, obtain their signatures on the signature sheet and be
sure to staple the signature sheet to the request form.
- All requests must be signed by House members and
co-patrons to ensure that the request is valid and has been
approved by the member prior to drafting.
- Make a copy of all documents for your office files
before submitting the originals.
Q: What happens to a
budget amendment request after it has been submitted?
A: There are several stages that a budget amendment goes
through after it is submitted to the House Appropriations Committee
staff: Initial processing, Subcommittee action, Committee
action, House action, Conference Committee action, and adoption.
- Amendments are keyed into an electronic budget
amendment system and returned to the patron once completed to
check for accuracy. (Often, the electronic copies of
amendments are not completed until after the budget amendment
deadline for amendment requests). The budget amendment
system assigns a number to each amendment, based on the area of
government affected by the amendment. This is referred to
as the “Item number.” Within each item, the amendments are
numbered in the order they were received and entered into the
system. Each amendment will also carry the name of the
House member who is the patron of the amendment and any members
who are co-patrons.
All budget amendments are returned to patrons a few
days following the budget amendment deadline for their final
approval before the budget amendments are printed.
Once the amendments are public, they can be accessed on
the State Budget
website or a hard copy may be viewed at the
Appropriations Committee staff offices.
Once the amendments are completed, they are compiled by
area of government (e.g., Elementary and Secondary Education,
Higher Education, Public Safety, Health and Human Resources,
etc.) for consideration by the appropriate Subcommittee.
- The Subcommittees make recommendations to adopt budget
amendments to the full Appropriations Committee through a
Subcommittee Report on the date specified in the Committee
calendar (which is available the first week of the Session).
Typically, the Subcommittees report to the full Committee on a
Sunday in February.
- Once the full Committee receives the Subcommittee
Reports, the Committee will act on each report to accept or
reject the proposed budget amendments. Once adopted by the
Committee, the amended budget is then sent to the House floor
for action on the budget bill.
At this point, budget amendments will be available on the
State Budget web site by
noon on the Tuesday following the Committee’s adoption of the
- The budget bill is considered by the full House just
like any other bill. It must go through first, second and
third readings before final passage. Typically, the budget
bill is considered by the House of Delegates on the Thursday
following the Appropriations Committee adoption of the amended
Conference Committee Action
- Once adopted, the House budget is sent to the Senate
for consideration. At that time, the House also receives
the Senate budget. Traditionally, the budget bill amended
by the House becomes the vehicle for any changes to the
Governor’s introduced budget. The Conference Committee
resolves any differences between the budget bill adopted by the
House of Delegates and the Senate.
- Once the Conference Committee has resolved differences
between the House and Senate on the amended budget bill, the
Conference Committee report is sent back to the House and Senate
floors for final approval. The budget bill cannot be amended at
this time and the vote on the amended budget is a yes or no
Governor's Review Phase
- The Governor reviews the bill passed by the General
Assembly. He may sign it, veto the entire bill or certain
line items, or recommend amendments. If the Governor vetoes
the bill or any items of the bill, it goes back to the
General Assembly during a reconvened session in the spring.
If he recommends amendments, the bill is returned to the
reconvened session for consideration and action by the
General Assembly on the Governor's proposed amendments.
Budget Execution Phase
- The budget passed by the General Assembly and enacted into
law goes into effect on July 1 in even-numbered years and on the
date of passage in odd-numbered years.
Q: How do I track a budget
amendment request on the 2016 State Budget Website?
A: Go to the
Budget website and click on the “Budget Amendment
Items” link on the left side of the webpage. As Session
progresses, there will eventually be three sections of budget
amendments. Next to each category, there will a link to the
“House” or “Senate” sections. If you wish to download the
entire package of all amendments in “Patron Order” or “Item Order”
just click on the appropriate link in parenthesis.
The three stages in the life of a budget amendment are: