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State Budget Process: Introduction

4 pages
865 words
Harvey Mudd College
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A budget can be termed as both an instrument for planning and an agenda-setting tool that determines the sending of the government. the budget process can be said to be a battle between rivaling priorities and it better balances the revenue and expenditures of a particular state. States with a good budget projects costs and expenses at least some years ahead. Many states have a good budget and Virginia state is one of these. From its constitution, only the law of the state can appropriate paying out funds from the state treasury. This assay looks at the key elements of Virginias budget process.

Does the State have an annual or a Biennial Budget?

The state of Virginia issues its services under a biennial budget cycle. Every year the states governor prepares a proposed budget that is introduced to the General Assembly. The proposed bill of budget is taken by the entire state for quite a number of years, most of them being even years and then amended in the alternating years. The lawmakers and the public officials who are in charge of the biennial budget are elected. Their roles are inclusive of revenue generation and expenditure approval (Eller, 2017). The state budget is complex and very fluids since it is dependent on revenues which are anticipated for and others that have been planned. The revenues may, however, be altered during the fiscal year. In case the revenues fail to keep up with the expenditures, the state is needed to raise the taxes, borrow money, or even cut their services and at times the three can be applied. The state revenues are mainly generated from taxes, federal aids, and licensing fees. The state budget is mostly influenced by the policy decisions made at the national level, for example, the Affordable Care, Act, and also influenced by issues that affect the country from a local level. The various decisions made are usually driven by federal mandates in the area, those that require funding changes relating to the enrolment of changes and population growth.

The units that direct Virginia budget preparation

The state budget is directed by the establishment of an executive budget that is produced by the governor. The budget is a cooperative effort between the governor and state officials through the division of the budget. The executive budget of the governor is started during the spring of the even-numbered years. Budget division at this moment needs the state agencies to prepare and make a submission of budget requests before or on the first day of September. The past budgets are reviewed by the budget director; a request is examined and thus by December the budget director meets the agency head to come up with budget recommendations that ought to be accepted by the governor. The agencies involved are required to give an almost accurate estimate of their needs in 3 and a half years before the completion of the biennial cycle period. In determining the revenue that might be available for the biennial budget, the State agencies together with the Budget division use an official future forecast of the general fund's revenue. The forecast is given by the State Economic Forum that consists of five taxation and economic experts from private sectors.

How Many Appropriation Bills are usually passed?

The State of Virginia operates under the biennial budget or the two-year budget cycle. In every year, the respective Governor prepares the budget of the bill proposed by the General Assembly. The biennial budget bill is presented by the Governor to the General Assembly. These bills contain recommended states appropriations on revenue. The Biennium, the two-year term State Assemblys action is associated with the appropriation budgetary act or bills terms along with the House of Delegates members. Therefore, the State of Virginia embraces the biennial budgetary system, meaning it adopts the two-year budget plan (Eller, 2017). The biennial budget is approved to become policy in even-numbered years while its amendments are authorized in odd-numbered years. The Budgetary Appropriation Committee mainly reviews the Governors proposals and compares it with the budget requirements from the House Members. The Committee mainly considers roughly 1,100 to 1500 appropriation budget bills in every biennial budget.

What item veto power, if any, does the Governor have

The Veto power refers to the action undertaken by the Governor where he denies his signature on the legislation enacted by the General Assembly. However, the veto power of the Governor can be disapproved by the two-thirds of each body. The Governor of the State of Virginia has the veto power to refer to the legislative power where he can submit recommendations as well as call for special sessions when he deems them needed. Every bill that is proposed to become law ought to be sent to the governor. The Governor can either sign the bill presented to him or ignore it for seven days, after which is referred as a law. After Veto, the proposed law (bill) is sent back to the House of Assembly and might be overridden by 2/3 of the vote. The Governor is the commander-in-chief of the militia forces of Virginia (Eller, 2017).


Dinan, J. (2014). The Virginia State Constitution. Oxford University Press.

Eller, M. (2017). West Virginia. Journal of Education Finance, 42(3), 332-334.

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