Last week I gave a summary of the state's 2013 Fiscal Year budget. This week I would like to include a short summary of the budget process the Missouri General Assembly is required to follow which finally results in amounts for budget line items. The basic steps are listed below:
Department Budget Preparation: From June through September, state agencies prepare budget requests and submit Budget Requests to Budget and Planning and the Legislature by October 1.
Revenue Estimates: Budget and Planning economists propose consensus revenue estimate. Director of Budget and Planning presents proposal to House Budget and Senate Appropriations Chairs for approval.
Governor Recommends The Missouri Budget: the Budget and Planning staff reviews budget requests and assists Governor with recommendations. The Governor gives State of the State and Budget Message to Joint Session(s) of the Legislature in mid-January and releases recommendations. Budget and Planning staff draft appropriations bills with Governor's recommendations and then forwards them to the Chairman of the House Budget Committee to introduce.
House Appropriations Committees Review Operating Budgets: Appropriations bills are referred by the Speaker to the House Budget Committee that are then assigned to the suitable Appropriations Committee. Appropriation committees determine committee recommendations by "marking-up" or voting on items in assigned house bills by the end of February. Appropriation committees send recommendations to Budget Committee for review and approval.
House Budget Committee Acts on Emergency and Supplemental Appropriations: In February, Budget Committee conducts hearings and "marks-up" emergency and supplemental appropriation bill(s). House Committee Substitutes are debated and perfected (second reading) by the House. House Committee Substitute bills (or House Substitute) as perfected by amendment and floor vote are sent to the Senate.
House Budget Committee Acts on Operating Budget: House Appropriation Committee Chairs present Appropriations Committee recommendations to Budget Committee who then "marks-up" bills with changes offered and voted on by Budget Committee members. Staff prepares House Committee Substitute bills based on Budget Committee actions. House Committee Substitutes are debated and perfected (second reading) by the House. House Committee Substitute bills (or House Substitute) as perfected by amendment and floor vote are sent to the Senate in mid-March.
House Budget Committee Acts on Capital Budget: Mid-March to early April, House Budget Committee conducts hearings and "marks-up" capital budget. House passes perfected House Committee Substitute (or House Substitute) bills as amended by floor action and sends to Senate.
Senate Action: Senate Appropriations Committee holds initial hearings on emergency, operating and capital budgets in January and February. During mid-March and early April, Senate Appropriations Committee considers Governor and House recommendations, "marks-up" budgets and presents Senate Committee Substitute bills to Senate. Senate either adopts Senate Committee Substitutes, amends Senate Committee Substitutes, or adopts Senate Substitute bills for appropriations on emergency, operating, and capital budgets. Senate returns the appropriation bills to the House of Representatives for acceptance or makes request for conference to settle differences.
Conference Committee Action: Speaker of the House appoints five Representatives and President Pro-Tem of Senate appoints five Senators to Conference Committee for each appropriation bill. In mid-April, Conference Committees meet to resolve differences and adopt Conference Committee Substitute appropriations bills. In late-April and early-May, Conference Committee bills are returned to the House of Representatives and Senate to be Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed (TAFP). The Constitution prohibits action on appropriation bills after 6:00 p.m. on the first Friday following the first Monday in May.
Governor's Veto Authority: TAFP appropriation bills are sent to and signed by the Governor by July 1. Governor signs bills as is, vetoes entire bill, vetoes sections within the bill, or line-item vetoes appropriations within the bill. Governor attaches Veto Message identifying items vetoed.
Legislative Override of Governor's Veto: Legislature may override Governor veto by a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate during the following legislative veto session held in September.
FYI-The number of legislative pieces filed this year by the General Assembly amounted to more than 1,600 and of those 114 were Truly Agreed and Finally Passed. It is now up to Governor Nixon to sign, veto or let "slide into law" without his signature those bill delivered to him. The signing ceremonies have already begun.
Every year the Missouri State Treasurer publishes an Unclaimed Property List as a result of financial institutions, businesses, government agencies and other organizations that turn over millions of dollars and the contents of nearly 1,000 safe deposit boxes to the State Treasurer's office. One in 10 Missourians has Unclaimed Property and the average claim is about $300. The Treasurer's office is holding nearly $700 million in unclaimed assets in more than 4.3 million owner accounts. I encourage you to search the state webpage www.ShowMeMoney.com.
Yesterday I attended a bill signing ceremony at the Cape Girardeau Veteran Home - a beautiful 150-bed home that opened in 1990. Governor Nixon praised the Missouri Legislators for passing HB 1731 which provides a dedicated source of funding for this and six of the state's other veterans' homes. The legislation ensures that the facilities -- home to more than 1,300 Missouri military veterans -- will have the resources to continue to provide high-quality, modern care to veterans.