The Governor annually requests appropriations (called supplemental appropriations) that modify the current fiscal year's budget. Supplemental requests may be divided into two bills-a "fast-track" supplemental bill and a "slow-track" supplemental bill-depending on the urgency of the request.
By law [AS 37.07.070(1)], the Governor must submit supplemental requests to the legislature by the fifteenth day of session. The legislature can, and frequently does, modify and initiate supplemental appropriations throughout the legislative session.
What makes an appropriation a supplemental appropriation?
An appropriation is classified as a supplemental if
- the effective date is in the current fiscal year, and
- the appropriation impacts current year revenue.
Do supplemental appropriations have to be appropriated in a separate appropriations bill?
No. Supplemental appropriations may appear in any appropriation bill.
Can a supplemental appropriation cross fiscal years?
Yes. When an appropriation is needed for multiple fiscal years, language in the bill can extend the lapse date for that appropriation for as many fiscal years as needed. If no lapse date is specified, funding for an operating appropriation lapses at the end of the fiscal year.
Why does the Governor submit a "fast-track" supplemental and a "slow-track" supplemental bill?
The Governor may submit a fast-track supplemental bill for items that the Governor (or legislature) believes should be funded earlier than the typical last day of session supplemental effective date. The adoption of a fast track bill is not a sure thing. Fast track items may simply be appended to the capital bill (with an early effective date). There is rarely a separate slow track bill; slowtrack items are typically included in the capital bill (with an effective date of June 30 and/or the last day of session).