The process of enacting a biennial capital improvements bill is simpler and shorter than the one for enacting the operating appropriations bills. It also occurs within the context of another activity-the preparation of the state's six-year Capital Improvements Plan. This plan is updated biennially by OBM on the basis of recommendations it receives from affected state agencies. The process begins in the late summer of each odd-numbered year, when OBM distributes guidelines to the agencies for the preparation of both the Capital Budget and the six-year Capital Improvements Plan.
As with the operating appropriations bills, OBM reviews the agencies' submissions and sends its preliminary recommendations to the Governor. When final decisions have been made, the Governor's recommendations are generally drafted as a bill by LSC (Legislative Service Commission) staff.
The state's capital budget provides for the acquisition or construction of major capital items, including land, buildings, structures, and equipment and is completed in two-year periods beginning in odd-numbered years. Moneys for these projects are typically appropriated from funds whose revenue comes from bond sales.
The capital reappropriations bill reauthorizes unexpended balances of previously appropriated capital projects, which is necessary due to the constitutional requirement that the General Assembly make no appropriation for a period of more than two years. This bill reconciles the constitutional limitation with the reality that many capital projects require more than two years to complete.