The “Budget” is a collection of appropriations, passed by the Legislature and subsequently enacted into law. There are several types of State Budgets: the Appropriations Budget – appropriations to cover the cost of running State government and programs; Capital Construction Budget – major construction and maintenance of State buildings and infrastructure; and Transportation Capital Act – the prioritization of projects associated with building and maintaining transportation infrastructure. Appropriations provide the spending authority for a specific fiscal year for units of State government and from various State and Federal funding sources. The appropriations contained in the “Appropriation Act” may be adjusted mid-year in the “Budget Appropriation Adjustment Act.” The total appropriations for any fiscal year include non-duplicated and duplicated appropriations. The Total State Budget is equal to the non-duplicated appropriations; including the duplicated appropriation would “double count” those amounts.
Although Vermont does not have a balanced budget statute, units of government cannot spend in excess of their authorized amounts, nor are they allowed to spend funds they do not have, even if appropriated. The Budget is categorized by functional areas of State government operations: General Government; Protection for Persons & Property; Human Services; Labor; General Education; Higher Education; Natural Resources; Commerce & Community Development; Transportation; Debt Service and Other. Each functional category is then further segregated by department, individual line item and fund.