Budget Process FAQ's

Q: What is a Budget Amendment?
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.

  • 2014 Budget Amendment Form (.pdf)
  • 2014 Budget Amendment Form (.doc)
  • 2014 Nonstate Agency Budget Amendment Form (.pdf)
  • 2014 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) was 5:00 p.m., FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 2014.


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 form.
  • 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 amendment request.
  • 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.

Initial Processing 

  • 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.

Subcommittee Action

  • 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.

Committee Action

  • 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 amended budget. 

House Action

  • 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 budget.

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.

Adoption

  • 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 vote.

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 2014 State Budget Website?
A: Go to the 2014 State 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:

  • Member Amendment Requests

  • Committee Approved

  • Conference Report

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