Supplemental Appropriations

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  • Supplemental appropriation is another term for overspending. In theory, this practice covers unforeseeable expenses, but it has become a normal part of the state budget process.


  • Since 2010, overspending has occurred in 8 of 11 budgets, totaling over $2 billion dollars.[i]
  • According to the Democratic House Appropriations Committee this year’s budget is slightly over $36 billion with almost $11 billion coming from supplemental appropriations prior to accounting for the stop-gap budget, CARES funding, and FMAP. 
  • In 2020-21, the Department of Human Services requested over $1 billion in supplemental appropriations, far outpacing any of the other agencies.  


  • Supplemental appropriations obfuscate total budget growth. When budgets are passed, growth rates are often based on the prior years’ enacted budget + supplementals, which conceals the true rate of growth.
  • To make the Taxpayer Protection Act more impactful, lawmakers should specify within the bill that budget growth calculations exclude supplemental appropriations.

[i] Enacted Appropriation numbers are taken from the budget line item appropriations or fiscal note 2020-21, 2019-20 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15, 2013-14, 2012-13, 2011-12, 2010-11. Actual Expenditure numbers are taken from the Governor's Executive Budget, Summary by Fund, General Fund, Financial Statement, Actual.

*Excludes $2,754, 505, 000 in federal ARRA funds

**Note this does include the 6 billion in line item vetoes that were later restored.

***Expenditure number is taken from the 2021-22 Governor's Executive Budget, Summary by Fund, General Fund, Financial Statement, Available and House Appropriations Committee. Include $1,129,395,000 in federal funds in 2019-20 and $3,102,393,000 in federal funds for 2020-21