Joint Committee Budget Proposal

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 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 CommitteeDepartment Budget Considered
AgricultureDept. of Agriculture, Office of the Governor, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
Commerce and TransportationDept. of Commerce, Office of Secretary of State, Department of Transportation
Crime and the JudiciaryOffice of the Attorney General, Dept. of Corrections, Commission on Ethics and Good Government, Judiciary Branch
EducationBoard of Education, Board of Regents, Office of the State Treasurer
Health and WelfareDept. of Environment, Dept. of Health, Dept. of Social and Rehabilitative Services
HumanitiesDept. of Culture, Dept. of Revenue, Dept. of Wildlife and Parks
IndustryCorporation Commission, State Water Board
JC on Taxation and the BudgetAll Tax proposals

Your Task/Requirements

  • Consider budget proposals from Departments, PACs, and Counties who will appear before appropriate committees
  • Based on the testimonies you have heard along with your own ideas, create your own budget proposal as a Joint Committee. This proposal will then be presented to the body as a whole.
  • If you make changes to the budget explain those differences between your budget and the Governor’s proposed budget.
  • Explain any financial impact on the budget and economic impact on Boys State.

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.