Enacting a budget is among the top functions of state government.
Budgets determine how states allocate resources, set policies and lay the foundation for future planning and programming.
Budget procedures vary by state, but unlike the federal government, most states are required to enact a balanced budget annually or biennially.
When state governments enact their budgets, the final budget documents are often lengthy and filled with intricate details that can be difficult for the public to understand. Therefore, many state legislative fiscal offices and executive budget offices produce budget summaries, brief documents highlighting the important provisions of a budget that often include charts and graphs outlining how funds have been appropriated. Lawmakers and the public rely on these summaries to better understand what is included in their state’s enacted final budget.
Forty-six states began fiscal year (FY) 2013 on July 1, 2012. Four other states along with the District of Columbia and Guam began their fiscal years on Oct. 1, 2012.
Source: NCSL Research, 2012-2013
The following buttons provide links to 40 state budget summaries and the District of Columbia for Fiscal Year 2013.