Planning &
Legislative Action Review &
Implementation &
The Budget Cycle
The Budget Process: Four Phases

Each biennial budget takes more than a year to develop, involving all the executive branch departments and agencies, as well as the governor, legislature, the Comptroller of Public Accounts, and the State Auditor's Office (SAO). The grueling and extremely detailed process--fitting for any plan that involves spending about $120 billion over two years--begins during the spring of the year before the January opening of the biennial legislative session.

The process can be divided into four major phases, each involving numerous discrete steps:

  1. Planning and proposal
  2. Legislative action
  3. Review and approval by comptroller and governor
  4. Implementation and monitoring

The first two of these phases involve the most detailed and resource-intensive work of the whole process. The last two are important in providing a final check and ongoing adjustment, but they involve far less detailed analysis and planning.

A flow chart of the budget process can be viewed on the last tab of this feature.

For additional details on the budget process in Texas, please see the Texas Senate Research Center's publication, Budget 101: A Guide to the Budget Process in Texas (pdf).