Division of the Budget History
The Division of the Budget (DOB) is charged with the responsibility of advising the Governor in matters that affect the financial health of the state. Our office assists in formulating the Governor’s budget proposal to the Legislature, offers policy recommendations on fiscal issues, and oversees the implementation of the final Enacted Budget.
Under the State Constitution, the Governor is also responsible for developing a revenue and expenditure plan for the state, which the Division of the Budget prepares for the Governor’s review. Additionally, DOB staff works closely with state agencies to coordinate the development and execution of their policy programs, ensuring the Budget Office is involved in every facet of New York State’s government.
The Division of the Budget officially came into existence on January 1, 1927 following two constitutional reforms that laid the foundation for a “strong executive” form of government.
In 1925, the State Constitution was amended to consolidate executive branch agencies and to subject the heads of many of those agencies to the appointive authority of the Governor. In 1927, the Constitution was again amended to give the Governor responsibility for submitting an annual, comprehensive and balanced plan of revenues and expenditures and prohibit the Legislature from acting on other spending measures before acting on the Executive Budget.
These reforms made the Governor the chief architect of the State’s budget, accountable for the development and administration of the legislatively-approved budget, and led to the evolution of a strong centralized Budget Division. In January 1928, Governor Alfred E. Smith submitted the first budget prepared under the current Executive Budget process.
The Division derives its broad authority from Article 8 of the Executive Law, which authorizes the Director of the Budget to assist the Governor with the:
- “…formulation of the budget and the correlating and revising of estimates and requests for appropriations of the civil departments…” and
- “…investigation, supervision and coordination of the expenditures and other fiscal operations of such department[s]…”