Budget Processes in the States

Since the first edition of Budget Processes in the States was published in 1975, the report has become a significant reference for state budget officers and others interested in the organization and operation of state government. In this report, NASBO compiles state-by-state comparative information on state budgeting practices, organized into six sections.




Staff Contact

Kathryn White



  • Budget Timeline and Participants: This section outlines the budget cycle calendar followed by states, provides detailed information about the functions and staffing of budget offices, and describes states’ revenue estimating processes. 
  • Requirements, Authorities and Limitations: This section focuses on the budgetary powers of the executive branch, as well as the state laws and regulations that govern and restrict state budgets, including balanced budget requirements, debt limits and tax and expenditure limits. 
  • Budgeting Practices, Procedures and Tools: This section examines which funds are subject to appropriation and provides detailed information on state rainy day funds and disaster funds. It also looks at how states treat unanticipated general fund surpluses and unspent appropriations, and the use of integrated financial management systems by states. 
  • Budget Documents: This section examines the different budget methodologies used by states in putting together their budgets, as well as how the executive budget proposal and other key documents in the budget process are presented and structured. 
  • Monitoring the Budget: This section provides information on how state budget offices and other participants monitor and control expenditures, transfer appropriated funds, and forecast future operating expenditures. 
  • Measuring Performance and Using Data and Evidence: This section shares details on how states collect, report, and use performance data, state spending transparency websites, and statewide efforts related to evidence-based policymaking, data integration, and managing for results.

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