An Act To Change the Schedule for the Beginning of the Biennial Budget Cycle
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §1665, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 636, Pt. C, §2, is further amended to read:
All departments and other agencies receiving or desiring to receive state funds from the Highway Fund shall submit to the officer estimates of their expenditure and appropriation requirements for each fiscal year of the ensuing biennium that do not exceed the Highway Fund appropriation of the previous fiscal year multiplied by one plus the average real personal income growth rate or 2.75%, whichever is less. The Highway Fund highway and bridge improvement accounts are exempt from this spending limitation.
The State Budget Officer shall request that the Governor provide the budget proposal for the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission developed pursuant to Title 30, section 6212, subsection 6.
Sec. 2. 5 MRSA §1665, sub-§7, as repealed and replaced by PL 1999, c. 127, Pt. A, §6 and affected by §7, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 5 MRSA §1666, first ¶, as amended by PL 2005, c. 601, §4, is further amended to read:
The Governor-elect or the Governor, with the assistance of the State Budget Officer, shall review the budget estimates, altering, revising, increasing or decreasing the items of the estimates as may be determined necessary in view of the needs of the various departments and agencies and the total anticipated income of the State Government during the ensuing biennium. This review must cover all budgets regardless of source of funds, including, but not limited to, budgets related to the Highway Fund, the Federal Revenue Sharing Fund and other special revenue funds. The State Budget Officer, at the direction of the Governor-elect or the Governor , shall then prepare a state budget document in the form required by law. The Governor-elect or the Governor is fully responsible for all budgetary recommendations made to the Legislature. The Governor shall transmit the budget document to the Legislature not later than the Friday following the first Monday in January of December in odd-numbered years for consideration in the first second regular legislative session. At that time the Governor shall also transmit any emergency bills that authorize additional appropriations or allocations in the current fiscal year that the Governor may wish to propose. A Governor-elect elected to a first term of office shall transmit the budget document to the Legislature not later than the Friday following the first Monday in February of the first regular legislative session. At that time the Governor-elect shall also transmit any emergency bills that authorize additional appropriations or allocations in the current fiscal year that the Governor may wish to propose.
Sec. 4. 5 MRSA §1666-A, as enacted by PL 1995, c. 113, §1, is amended to read:
§ 1666-A. Enactment of budget
The Legislature shall review a biennial or supplemental budget submitted to it in accordance with this chapter and enact a budget no later than 30 days prior to the date of adjournment prescribed in Title 3, section 2, except that, during the first year in office of a Governor-elect Governor, the Legislature shall enact a budget no later than the first Friday in June April.
Sec. 5. Application; single-year budget 2015-16. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2015, the budget of the State must provide for a complete financial plan for only that one fiscal year.
Sec. 6. Submit legislation. The Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs shall submit a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 126th Legislature to address references throughout the Maine Revised Statutes to the "biennial budget" and to make any additional technical changes necessary to implement this Act.
Sec. 7. Effective date. Those sections of this Act that amend the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, sections 1665, 1666 and 1666-A take effect July 1, 2015.
This bill shifts the start of the fiscal biennium for the state budget from the first regular session of the Legislature to the second regular session of the Legislature, beginning for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2016. This bill also provides that the state budget beginning on July 1, 2015 is a one-year budget.