Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition

Artists leaders and artist-run groups addressing arts issues in Massachusetts

Next Step in the State Budget Process: the Conference Committee

by MALC • June 6, 2016 • News

The state legislature is about to enter the “conference committee” stage of its budget process, (some time possibly this week). Three members of the House of Representatives and three members of the Senate will serve on the conference committee. They will discuss any and all differences between the two chambers’ budget proposals and create a compromise Fiscal Year 2017 budget the full legislature can agree on.

According to the office of State Representative Cory Atkins, Co-Chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, the following representatives and senators will serve on the conference committee (Note: they also served on the Conference Committee for last year’s FY 2016 Budget):

State Representative Brian Dempsey, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

State Senator Karen Spilka, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

State Representative Stephen Kulik, Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

State Senator Sal DiDomenico, Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

State Representative Todd Smola, Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

State Senator Viriato deMacedo, Member or the Senate Committee on Ways and Means

Once the conference committee drafts a compromise bill, the full legislature will vote on it. Once approved, the legislature’s budget proposal will be sent to Governor Charlie Baker. The governor will have 10 days to review it. He may then approve or veto the entire budget, veto or change individual line items, veto non-monetary “outside sections,” or submit amendments to the budget. The legislature may override any vetoes with a 2/3 majority vote.

The State’s website has online tools to help you dig deeper into the budget process: https://malegislature.gov/Budget/Process

Stay tuned for more on the ins-and-outs of the state budget process!

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