Project Overview/Background: The state budget determines the priorities of the state government for the next fiscal year. The Governor will propose a budget in his state of the state address. Following the address, the legislature will hold public hearings on the budget. Departments will present the details of the Governor’s budget proposal. PACs and counties will offer testimony in support of budget proposals which benefit their interests. Joint Committees will then form their own proposals for the budget and offer them to the body as a whole. The Calendar Committee is made up of the leadership of the House and the Senate. During the joint committee proposal process explained above, the Calendar Committee will meet separately and determine the rules and procedures of their respective houses. These rules and procedures include how bills will be introduced and debated, who will enforce the rules, and how the two houses will coordinate. In addition, the Calendar Committee will go over the governor’s budget and debate what kinds of changes should be made, if any. Once the Senate and House reconvene, the joint committees will propose their own changes to the governor’s budget which will then be debated on the floor. A final budget will then be proposed and must be passed, in the same form, by both houses. The Calendar Committee should also consider what bills it would like to see introduced, and which issues are most important to Boys State. After all, the leadership is responsible for determining which bills are heard and debated. However, bills may only be introduced after the budget is complete. The budget contains a section on income which includes the following taxes: individual income tax, corporation income tax, severance tax, and state sales tax. Fees and federal funds are also included in the income section. The budget also authorizes expenditures which are broken down by Department and then by Department function. Expenditures include total dollar amounts spent by each division within each state Department including amounts paid for state employees. The state budget contains separate line items which determine the location and number of state employees. The budget is a law like other laws and must be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. Unlike other laws, though, the budget has a specific process for enactment which is defined in BSSA 75-2100. The law requires the Governor to issue a budget proposal to the legislature during his state of the state address. The law also requires the legislature to hold public hearings on the budget. Public hearings provide interested residents, PACs, and counties an opportunity to express their concerns about the Governor’s budget and to propose an alternate budget plan. The hearings will be held on Wednesday at a time and place listed in the official Boys State schedule. The hearings are held by one five joint committees of the legislature. Joint committees are composed of both senators and representatives. Each joint committee will consider a separate part of the budget. The table below lists which Departments are heard before each joint committee.
|Joint Committee||Department Budget Considered|
|Agriculture||Dept. of Agriculture, Office of the Governor, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance|
|Commerce and Transportation||Dept. of Commerce, Office of Secretary of State, Department of Transportation|
|Crime and the Judiciary||Office of the Attorney General, Dept. of Corrections, Commission on Ethics and Good Government, Judiciary Branch|
|Education||Board of Education, Board of Regents, Office of the State Treasurer|
|Health and Welfare||Dept. of Environment, Dept. of Health, Dept. of Social and Rehabilitative Services|
|Humanities||Dept. of Culture, Dept. of Revenue, Dept. of Wildlife and Parks|
|Industry||Corporation Commission, State Water Board|
|JC on Taxation and the Budget||All Tax proposals|
- Make the rules and regulations that will control the Senate and the House of Representatives. This includes how bills will introduced, who will enforce the rules, and how debate will be controlled on the floor.
- Read the Governor’s proposed budget and debate what changes the Calendar Committee would like to see made. Keep in mind that the Joint Committees will be proposing their own changes as well.
- Make a list of what issues are most important to the Calendar Committee and what bills the Committee would like to see introduced once the budget is complete.
Things to Remember:
- Once the Joint Committees makes their changes to the budget both chambers will debate and pass a full budget independently.
- Once both chambers pass a budget the two separate budgets must be reconciled through a Conference Committee.
- Both houses must pass the final budget prior to being sent the Governor for his signature.