Following the Governor’s budget address in February, legislators begin the deliberation of the budget requests of both the Governor’s and IMSA’s budget recommendations. This begins in March with separate hearings by IMSA before the House and Senate Appropriation Committees. During this period, the following actions occur:
- IMSA and all state-funded higher-education entities individually present their budget request to each Appropriation Committee, typically in March. IMSA’s presentation is accompanied by the Budgeting for Results documentation for the Senate committee, district fact sheets for the legislators on both committees, among other documentation. The hearings also include testimony from students, alumni, and/or educators impacted by IMSA programs.
- Legislators then caucus within their committees on the budgets of each higher education entity, including IMSA. Once the budget appropriation bill is determined and passed by a committee, it moves to the entire House or Senate, respectively, for their review and vote.
- The same actions are taken during this period, sometimes concurrently, with the other appropriations committee and corresponding chamber (House or Senate). After passage of an appropriations bill in either chamber, it moves to the second chamber for their legislative review and vote. Both chambers must agree on any changes and collectively pass one final appropriations bill in the full General Assembly before it is presented to the Governor.
- This final passage in the General Assembly of the budget usually occurs at the end of the legislative session, typically at the end of May. A “simple majority vote” of 51% of the 177 legislators of the General Assembly must agree with the appropriations bill prior to May 31 for the bill to take effect for the following fiscal year (July 1-June 30). If this deadline is not met, then a “super majority vote” of 60% of the legislators is required for the appropriations bill to go to the Governor.