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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 32: Taxation and Finance

Chapter 009: APPROPRIATIONS

  • § 701. General appropriation bill

    When the budget has been submitted to the General Assembly, it shall be immediately referred to the Committee on Appropriations, which shall at once proceed to consider the same and as soon as possible thereafter prepare a bill that shall be known as the “general appropriation bill” and introduce the same forthwith for action by the General Assembly. Such bill shall provide appropriations for the maintenance and operation of all departments of the State.

  • § 701a. Capital construction bill

    (a) When the capital budget has been submitted by the Governor to the General Assembly, it shall immediately be referred to the House Committee on Corrections and Institutions, which shall proceed to consider the budget request in the context of the 10-year capital program plan also submitted by the Governor pursuant to sections 309 and 310 of this title. The Committee shall also propose to the General Assembly a prudent amount of total general obligation bonding for the following fiscal year, for support of the capital budget, in consideration of the recommendation of the Capital Debt Affordability Advisory Committee pursuant to chapter 13, subchapter 8 of this title.

    (b) As soon as possible, the Committee shall prepare a bill to be known as the “capital construction bill,” which shall be introduced for action by the General Assembly.

    (c) The spending authority authorized by a capital construction act shall carry forward until expended, unless otherwise provided. All unexpended funds remaining for projects authorized by capital construction acts enacted in a legislative session that was two or more years prior to the current legislative session shall be reported to the General Assembly and may be reallocated in future capital construction acts.

    (d) On or before January 15, each entity to which spending authority has been authorized by a capital construction act enacted in a legislative session that was two or more years prior to the current legislative session shall submit to the House Committee on Corrections and Institutions and the Senate Committee on Institutions a report on the current fund balances of each authorized project with unexpended funds.

    (e) The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the reports to be made under subsections (c) and (d) of this section. (Added 1989, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2007, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 36, eff. June 8, 2008; 2011, No. 104 (Adj. Sess.), § 33, eff. May 7, 2012; 2013, No. 51, § 36; 2013, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 28 eff. June 9, 2014; 2017, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 32, eff. May 21, 2018.)

  • § 702. Exceeding budget

    The head of a State department, who is not elected by the people, shall not exceed the limits of the budget adopted by the General Assembly for his or her department, and in the event that such limit is exceeded, the Governor shall remove him or her after due notice and hearing. However, in case any unforeseen necessity arises whereby the budget limits may be exceeded in the particular department affected, then the payment of the same may be authorized from the contingent fund, on the approval of the Governor and the State Treasurer.

  • § 703. Unexpended appropriations

    The unexpended and unencumbered balances of any sums appropriated by the General Assembly shall, at the end of the fiscal year, unless otherwise specifically provided, revert to the appropriate fund balance. Refunds of expenditures and reimbursements shall be credited to the appropriate fund and to appropriation accounts in the current fiscal year. (Amended 1983, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 249; 1997, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 66, eff. Feb. 20, 1998; 2007, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.011.)

  • § 704. Interim budget and appropriation adjustments

    (a) The General Assembly recognizes that acts of appropriations and their sources of funding reflect the priorities for expenditures of public funds enacted by the General Assembly and that major reductions or transfers, when required by reduced State revenues or other reasons, ought to be made whenever possible by an act of the General Assembly reflecting its revisions of those priorities. Nevertheless, the General Assembly also recognizes that when it is not in session, it may be necessary to reduce authorized appropriations and their sources of funding, and funds may need to be transferred, to maintain a balanced State budget. Under these limited circumstances, it is the intent of the General Assembly that appropriations may be reduced and funds transferred when the General Assembly is not in session pursuant to the provisions of this section.

    (b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (f) of this section, in each instance that the official State revenue estimate for the General Fund, the Transportation Fund, or federal funds has been reduced by one percent or more from the estimates determined and assumed for purposes of the current fiscal year’s appropriations, the Secretary of Administration shall prepare an expenditure reduction plan for approval by the Joint Fiscal Committee, provided that any total reductions in appropriations and transfers of funds are not greater than the reductions in the official State revenue estimate.

    (2) In each instance that the official State revenue estimate for the General Fund, the Transportation Fund, or federal funds has been reduced by less than one percent from the estimates determined and assumed for purposes of the current fiscal year’s appropriations, the Secretary of Administration may prepare and implement an expenditure reduction plan without the approval of the Joint Fiscal Committee, provided that any total reductions in appropriations and transfers of funds are not greater than the reductions in the official State revenue estimate. The Secretary may implement an expenditure reduction plan under this subdivision if plan reductions to the total amount appropriated in any section or subsection do not exceed five percent, the plan is designed to minimize any negative effects on the delivery of services to the public, and the plan does not have any unduly disproportionate effect on any single function, program, service, benefit, or county. Plans not requiring the approval of the Joint Fiscal Committee shall be filed with the Joint Fiscal Office prior to implementation. If the Secretary’s plan consists of reductions greater than five percent to the total amount appropriated in any section or subsection, such plan shall only be implemented in the manner provided for in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

    (c) An expenditure reduction plan prepared by the Secretary shall indicate:

    (1) the amounts to be reduced in each appropriation by funding source and the amounts to be transferred;

    (2) in personal services, operating expenses, grants, and other categories, the effect of each reduction in appropriations and their sources of funding, and each fund transfer, on the primary purposes of the program;

    (3) how it is designed to minimize any negative effects on the delivery of services to the public; and

    (4) any unduly disproportionate effect the plan may have on any single function, program, service, benefit, or county.

    (d) An expenditure reduction plan implemented under subdivision (b)(2) of this section shall not include any reduction in:

    (1) appropriations authorized and necessary to fulfill the State’s debt obligations;

    (2) appropriations authorized for the Judicial or Legislative Branch, except that the plan may recommend reductions for consideration by the Judicial or Legislative Branch; or

    (3) appropriations for the salaries of elected officers of the Executive Branch listed in subsection 1003(a) of this title.

    (e)(1) The Joint Fiscal Committee shall have 21 days from the date of submission of any expenditure reduction plan under subdivision (b)(1) of this section to consider the plan and may approve or disapprove the plan upon a vote of a majority of the members of the Committee. If the Committee vote results in a tie, the plan shall be deemed disapproved, and if the Committee fails for any other reason to take final action on such plan within 21 days of its submission to the Committee, it shall be deemed to be disapproved. During the 21-day period for consideration of the plan, the Committee shall conduct a public hearing and provide an opportunity for public comment on the plan.

    (2) If the plan is disapproved, then in order to communicate the priorities of the General Assembly, the Committee shall make recommendations to the Secretary for amendments to the plan. Within seven days after the Committee notifies the Secretary of its disapproval of a plan, the Secretary may submit a final plan to the Committee. The Committee shall have 14 days from the date of submission of a final plan to consider that plan and to vote by a majority of the members of the Committee to approve or disapprove the plan, but if the Committee fails to approve or disapprove the plan by a majority vote, the plan shall be deemed disapproved. If the Secretary’s final plan includes any changes from the original plan other than those recommended by the Committee, then during the 14-day period for consideration of the final plan, the Committee shall conduct a public hearing and provide an opportunity for public comment, with the scope of the hearing and the comments limited to the changes from the original plan.

    (3) In determining whether to approve a plan submitted by the Secretary under this subsection, the Committee shall consider whether the plan minimizes any negative effects on the delivery of services to the public and whether the plan will have any unduly disproportionate effect on any single function, program, service, benefit, or county.

    (4) Any plan disapproved under subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall not be implemented.

    (5) For purposes of this section, the Committee shall be convened at the call of the Chair or at the request of at least three members of the Committee.

    (f) In the event of a reduction in the official revenue estimate of one percent or more and the Joint Fiscal Committee does not approve the Secretary’s final expenditure reduction plan prepared under subdivision (b)(1) of this section, the Secretary may implement an expenditure reduction plan in the manner provided for in subdivision (b)(2) of this section, provided that the expenditure reduction plan is not greater than one percent of the prior official revenue estimate. If the Secretary implements an expenditure reduction plan under the authority of this subsection, any subsequent expenditure reduction plan that is required to address the remaining imbalance under the current official State revenue estimate may only be implemented in the manner provided for in subdivision (b)(1) of this section.

    (g) No expenditure reduction plan may be approved or implemented under this section that:

    (1) would result in total reductions in appropriations from any fund, or transfers to that fund, by more than four percent of the estimate originally determined and assumed for purposes of the current fiscal year’s appropriations; or

    (2) would reduce expenditures or transfer revenues of the Education Fund as prescribed by law.

    (h) An expenditure reduction plan may only be implemented under subsection (b) of this section subsequent to an official State revenue estimate and when the General Assembly is not in session.

    (i) [Repealed.]

    (j) In each instance that cumulative revenue collections during the month of September or October are four percent or more below the respective cumulative monthly revenue targets, the Emergency Board shall convene in the manner provided for in subsection 305a(b) of this title to determine whether to revise the official State revenue estimate.

    (k) As used in this section:

    (1) “Cumulative monthly revenue targets” means monthly revenue targets adopted based on the most current official State revenue estimates, as agreed upon by the Legislative Joint Fiscal Office and the Secretary.

    (2) “Expenditure reduction plan” means a rescission plan that includes reducing and adjusting appropriations and their sources of funding, and transferring and adjusting funds, from the amounts authorized in the current fiscal year’s appropriations.

    (3) “Official State revenue estimates” means a revenue estimate determined by the Emergency Board, as provided in section 305a of this title. An official State revenue estimate does not mean cumulative monthly revenue targets. (Added 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 280; amended 1997, No. 61, § 262a; 2009, No. 52, § 1; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 63; 2015, No. 58, § C.103, eff. June 11, 2015; 2015, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 33; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 462, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 704a. Execution of the laws relating to appropriations

    (a) The Governor and every other officer or employee of the Executive Branch shall faithfully execute the laws relating to appropriations so as to effectuate the intent of the General Assembly in enacting such laws, including the provisions of this chapter, the annual appropriations act, and any budget adjustment act.

    (b) The Executive Branch is authorized and encouraged to take such actions as are necessary and desirable to manage and administer State programs and agencies in an efficient, effective, and fiscally prudent manner, and to such ends may accomplish savings and reduce spending in such programs and agencies, provided that the legislative purposes for which the sums are appropriated are substantially accomplished. (Added 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 281; amended 1999, No. 1, § 99, eff. March 31, 1999; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 463, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 705. Allotment of appropriations

    (a) With the approval of the Governor, the Secretary of Administration, through the Commissioner of Finance and Management or such divisions of the Agency of Administration as the Commissioner may designate, shall have the following powers, duties, and functions:

    (1) The authority to allot from time to time to each department, institution, and State agency the appropriation made by the General Assembly for the department, institution, or State agency. The allotment may be made on a monthly basis or as the work of the department, institution, and agency may progress.

    (2) The keeping of such controlling accounts as may be necessary in order to determine the accuracy and limit of the expenditures made under the allotments.

    (b) The departments, institutions, and agencies shall be governed by the allotments made as provided in this section and shall not at any time exceed the sums thus allotted.

    (c) The authority conferred by this section is granted solely for the ministerial purpose of managing the State’s financial accounts. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize any decrease in any such appropriation. If allotments have been made, the Secretary shall report to the Joint Fiscal Committee on or before the 15th day of each quarter, identifying and describing the allotments made pursuant to the authority granted by this section during the preceding quarter. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the report to be made under this subsection. (Added 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 62, eff. June 13, 1988; 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 283; 2011, No. 3, § 89, eff. Feb. 17, 2011; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 64.)

  • § 706. Transfer of appropriations

    Notwithstanding any authority granted elsewhere, all transfers of appropriations shall be made pursuant to this section upon the initiative of the Governor or upon the request of a secretary or commissioner.

    (1) With the approval of the Governor, the Commissioner of Finance and Management may transfer balances of appropriations not to exceed $50,000.00 made under any appropriation act for the support of the government from one component of an agency, department, or other unit of State government to any component of the same agency, department, or unit.

    (2) Except as specified in subdivisions (1) and (4) of this section, the transfer of balances of appropriations may be made only with the approval of the Emergency Board.

    (3) For the specific purpose of balancing and closing out fund accounts at the end of a fiscal year, the Commissioner of Finance and Management may adjust a balance within an account of an agency or department in an amount not to exceed $100.00.

    (4) [Repealed.] (Added 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; amended 1971, No. 92, § 16, eff. June 1, 1971; 1977, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 188, eff. April 17, 1978; 1979, No. 74, § 321; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1999, No. 11, § 1; 1999, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 53, eff. Feb. 8, 2000; 2003, No. 80 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. March 8, 2004; 2005, No. 80, § 52; 2007, No. 65, § 395, eff. June 4, 2007; 2011, No. 3, § 90, eff. Feb. 17, 2011; 2011, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 29.)

  • §§ 707-709. Repealed. 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 283a.

  • § 710. Payment of State agency fees

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Agency of Transportation, any cooperating municipalities, and their contractors or agents shall be exempt from the payment of fee charges for reviews, inspections, or nonoperating permits issued by the Department of Public Safety, a District Environmental Commission, and the Agency of Natural Resources for any projects undertaken by or for the Agency and any cooperating municipalities for which all or a portion of the funds are authorized by a legislatively approved transportation construction, rehabilitation, or paving program within a general appropriation act introduced pursuant to section 701 of this title except for those fees established under 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(2)(A)(iii), (j)(10), (j)(11), and (j)(26).

    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no fees shall be charged for reviews, inspections, or nonoperating permits issued by the Department of Public Safety, a District Environmental Commission, and the Agency of Natural Resources for:

    (1) Any project undertaken by the Department of Buildings and General Services, the Agency of Natural Resources, or the Agency of Transportation that is authorized or funded in whole or in part by the capital construction act introduced pursuant to section 701a of this title except for those fees established under 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(2)(A)(iii), (j)(10), (j)(11), and (j)(26).

    (2) Any project undertaken by a municipality, which is funded in whole or in part by a grant or loan from the Agency of Natural Resources or the Agency of Transportation financed by an appropriation of a capital construction act introduced pursuant to section 701a of this title except for those fees established under 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(2)(A)(iii), (j)(7)(A) and (B), (j)(10), (j)(11), and (j)(26). However, all such fees shall be paid for reviews, inspections, or permits required by municipal solid waste facilities developed by a solid waste district that serves, or is expected to serve, in whole or in part, parties located outside its own district boundaries pursuant to 10 V.S.A. chapter 159. (Added 1993, No. 59, § 20, eff. June 3, 1993; amended 1993, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), § 57, eff. June 21, 1994; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(c)(1); 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 86, eff. May 24, 2000; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 115, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 5, 2006; 2015, No. 64, § 45.)

  • § 711. Approval of debt

    If a person as defined in 1 V.S.A. § 128, except a municipality as defined in 1 V.S.A. § 126, pays a majority of its operating expenses, as determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, in any fiscal year with amounts appropriated by the State, either directly or indirectly as a pass-through from a State agency or department, and the person intends to incur any debt in that fiscal year in the cumulative principal amount greater than $1,000,000.00, including debt incurred through the issuance of bonds, notes, bank loans, mortgages, lease-purchase contracts, and capital leases, then the person shall notify and obtain the approval of the State Treasurer and the Governor prior to incurring the debt. For the purposes of this section, amounts appropriated by the State shall not include nondiscretionary federal funds known as special revenue funds as presented in the State’s comprehensive annual financial report. (Added 2001, No. 61, § 67, eff. June 16, 2001; amended 2001, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 320, eff. June 21, 2002.)