Governor’s State Budget Proposal: Budget Process Timeline

Governor Scott Walker has introduced his budget proposal (See: Budget in Brief and Executive Budget documents) and WASB staff are busy poring over the details that pertain to K-12 education.  We will be releasing a series of posts here on the major K-12 provisions included in the Governor’s proposal.  In the meantime, here is a brief reminder of the state budget process and timeline.

February 8, 2017

The governor delivers the biennial budget address and proposes a two-year budget.


The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) holds public hearings on the governor’s budget proposal.  According to the Wheeler Report:

nygrenLegislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) Director Bob Lang told JFC members it will take LFB approximately a month to prepare budget papers. Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette, JFC co-chair along with Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills) told committee members the committee chairs are discussing how the budget will proceed.  Nygren said agency briefings are generally held when the LFB papers are ready, in about a month. Nygren said the committee is expected to hold public hearings, but the locations have not yet been decided.

Standing committees may also opt to hold additional public hearings on sections of the budget.


The JFC modifies, deletes and adds provisions to the governor’s proposed budget, and sends another version to the Legislature.

The Assembly and Senate majority and minority parties develop their own amendments.

These amendments are debated in the house in which they were  proposed.


senateAfter the individual caucuses have finished deliberations, the majority party budget package is introduced and scheduled for floor debate where the minority party will offer amendments.

The budget bill is adopted by the majority vote of the first house, and then proceeds to the other house where it is amended and adopted.


If the Assembly and Senate approve different versions of the budget, the differences are reconciled in a conference committee before a final budget is approved in both houses.


scottwalkerThe governor reviews the budget bill. 

The Wisconsin Constitution provides the governor extensive authority to line-item veto appropriation bills. 

Once the governor signs the budget bill into law, minus any partial vetoes, it then becomes the state’s fiscal budget document for the biennium.

The Legislature has the authority to override any of the governor’s partial vetoes with a 2/3 vote in each house.

1 thought on “Governor’s State Budget Proposal: Budget Process Timeline

Comments are closed.