General Appropriations, What's That?
The General Appropriations (GA) bill is an annual bill approved by the legislature that funds the ongoing operations of state agencies for the next budget year.
The GA bill has two features that distinguish it from other legislation: (1) It does not need an emergency clause to become effective July 1. (2) It may include funding for multiple government functions and agencies.
Until the early-2000s, the GA bill was typically passed midway through session and continued the current year’s funding for most agencies for the next year. The legislature would then pass funding for new program in separate bills later in session. In more recent years, the GA bill has included almost all funding agreed to as part of the budget agreement reached by the Governor and legislative leaders.
The General Appropriations bill for budget year 2015, SB 2127, appropriated over $7.2 billion.