Users’ Guide to the Budget Documents
The Division of the Budget publishes numerous documents pertaining to the New York State budget. These include the Executive Budget, the State Financial Plan and other official budgetary publications.
The Executive Budget is the revenue and spending plan which the Governor proposes each year to the Legislature. Article VII of the State Constitution requires that the Governor submit the following documents to the Legislature:
- A budget that describes planned spending for the coming fiscal year and anticipated revenues to support the spending.
- Bills containing all proposed appropriations and reappropriations.
- Other legislation necessary to implement the budget.
Consistent with these requirements, the Executive Budget documents consist of five volumes, several bills, and other publications:
The first volume, Executive Budget Briefing Book, contains the Budget Director’s Message, which presents the Governor’s fiscal blueprint for the upcoming fiscal year and explains the State’s Financial Plan. It also includes highlights of major initiatives and a list of legislative proposals needed to implement the proposed Budget. This document also presents tables summarizing significant changes in agency spending.
The Five-Year Financial Plan summarizes the Governor’s Executive Budget and describes the “complete plan” of spending and revenues required by the Constitution.
The Economic and Revenue Outlook explains the specific sources of State revenues and presents the economic outlook for the nation and the State.
The fourth book presents the Five-Year Capital Program and Financing Plan, which highlights major capital initiatives and objectives and describes the approach to financing.
Finally, the Agency Presentations volume describes the functions of each State agency and presents tables that summarize the agency’s spending by program and category. A “User’s Guide” provides background information on State government and the budget process, and explains how to interpret the agency “story” tables. This book also includes the budget requests of the Legislature and Judiciary, which are submitted without revision as required by the Constitution.
As part of the Executive Budget, the Governor presents to the Legislature a number of appropriation bills, which provide the legal authorization for all spending from the funds managed by the State. The spending bills are organized into the following major areas:
- Legislature and Judiciary
- Debt Service
- Education, Labor and Family Assistance
- Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation
- Public Protection and General Government
- Health and Mental Hygiene
Along with the submission of appropriation bills, the Governor also submits bills proposing other provisions necessary to implement the Executive Budget. Such legislation typically amends existing State laws governing programs and revenues, if such amendments are necessary to effect the budget. These bills — required by Article VII of the State Constitution — are commonly referred to as the Article VII bills.
In addition to the Executive Budget documents and related budget bills, the Publications section of this site provides press releases and other documents that describe New York State budgetary and financial issues.