Understanding Bills & Budgets

Unlocking the Legislative and Budgetary Process

At the core of effective advocacy efforts lie the practices of closely monitoring the progression of bills through legislative channels and understanding the intricacies of the budgetary cycle. Have you ever found yourself curious about the processes involved in determining the state budget or the steps required for a bill to become law? These questions underscore the fundamental importance of comprehending the legislative and budgetary mechanisms that shape policymaking. For PICPA members, this understanding is not just valuable; it's indispensable. With a thorough grasp of how bills evolve into laws and the budgetary frameworks that influence fiscal decisions, PICPA members can actively engage in the legislative process, advocate for policies that align with their professional interests, and effectively shape the regulatory landscape in ways that benefit the accounting profession and the broader community.

Bill Becomes Law


The Pennsylvania state budget is the spending blueprint for each fiscal year. It identifies different funding sources to meet needs, including job creation, education, human services, and more. The PICPA government relations team monitors this process from start to finish and maintains a strong willingness to support legislators as they work to create a responsible state budget.


July 1

  • New fiscal year begins.



  • Agencies submit rebudgets for review based on the newly enacted budget.
  • The Budget Office issues budget instructions and policy guidelines for the upcoming fiscal year.



  • Agencies submit budget requests for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • The Budget Office and governor review agency budget requests.



  • The governor submits a budget proposal to the legislature. In a new governor's inauguration year, the budget is submitted no later than the first full week in March.



  • The legislature reviews the budget, conducts public hearings through the House and Senate appropriations committees, and enacts budget bills for the governor's approval.


June 30

  • Fiscal year ends.

Bills and Laws

Below are two guides issued by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that explain the state's legislative framework. As you follow, keep in mind that lawmaking is rarely a swift process. Hearings, subcommittee discussions, amendments, and unforeseen circumstances can affect the length of time required to pass a bill.

How a Bill Becomes Law in Pennsylvania

How a Bill Becomes a Law


Making a Law in Pennsylvania

The Life Cycle of Fictional House Bill 652


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