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Budget Watch - The Whole Story of State Spending

The 2018 Legislature passed a $88.727 billion state budget—the General Appropriations Act (GAA)—which recently took effect on July 1. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of what was spent by lawmakers last session.

While the GAA price tag gets all the publicity, other appropriations can go largely unnoticed. This includes appropriations made in other bills or the “back of the (GAA) bill”, and appropriations for the prior fiscal year. All these appropriations are not included in the GAA total.

The Legislature routinely makes supplemental appropriations in other substantive legislation, but it is usually a relatively small amount. The last three sessions have seen an escalation of these types of appropriations. After averaging $39 million per year from FY2007-08 to FY2014-15, the Legislature made appropriations in other bills totaling $131.4 million and $2.5 billion1 in the next two sessions. The 2018 Legislature made $600.1 million in these supplemental appropriations.

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