The General Appropriations (GA) bill is an annual budget bill approved by the Legislature that funds the ongoing operations of state agencies for the next budget year.
The GA bill has two key features that distinguish it from all other legislation:
- It does not need an emergency clause to become effective at the start of the new fiscal year (July 1st);
- It may include funding for multiple government functions and agencies without violating the single-subject rule.
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 and is typically filed and voted on in the final days of session.