The Massachusetts State Budget Process
The State Budget year goes from July 1 through June 30.
- July through October: State agencies prepare their budgets, sometimes hold hearings, and then submit their budgets to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance (A&F).
- October and November: A&F reviews budgets submitted by the state agencies and their recommendations to the Governor on how much each agency’ budget should be.
- Late January: The Governor publicly releases his budget recommendation as a budget bill called House 1. It immediately goes to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
- Early to mid Feb: ANEFH advocates urge their representatives to include ANEFH priority issue funding and language among the representatives’ priority issues list sent to House Ways and Means Committee members.
- Mid to late February: Members of the House of Representatives communicate their priorities to members of the House Ways and Means Committee as part of the preparation to draft the House budget.
- Late February through mid-April: The House Committee on Ways and Means reviews and modifies the Governor’s budget. Mid-April, the House Committee on Ways and Means reports out its version of the budget to the full House of Representatives.
- Mid-April: ANEFH advocacy alert (several days after WM budget reported out) – urge Representatives support key issue amendments,
- Late April, week after school vacation: The full House then debates and votes on “amendments” or alterations to House Ways and Means Budget.
- April – May: Senators communicate their priorities to members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. ANEFH advocates communicate the preferred ANEFH budget request to their Senators.
- Mid-May: Senate Committee on Ways and Means reports out its version to the full Senate.
- Mid-May: ANEFH advocacy alert (several days after WM budget reported out) – urge Senators support key issue amendments,
- Next Week in May: The full Senate then debates and votes on “amendments” or alterations to Senate Ways and Means Budget.
- June: A Conference Committee composed of 3 House and 3 Senate members meets to negotiate the differences in funding and language between the House and Senate Budgets.
- Early June: ANEFH advocacy alert asking members urge legislators to support House or Senate version of key issue funding and language.
- Latter Part of June: A compromise version known as the Conference Report is then voted on by the full House and the full Senate.
- Last week of June: the budget then goes to the Governor who must sign the budget into law. He also has the option to veto line items. If the Legislature chooses, it can attempt to override any of the Governor’s vetoes. A two-thirds vote in the House and in the Senate is necessary to override a veto.
- July 1: The new FY 2016 Budget goes into effect.See also https://malegislature.gov/Budget/Process