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Appropriation (law)

appropriation law red book, appropriation law training
In law and government, appropriation from Latin appropriare, "to make one's own", later "to set aside" is the act of setting apart something for its application to a particular usage, to the exclusion of all other uses

It typically refers to the legislative designation of money for particular uses, in the context of a budget or spending bill


  • 1 Ecclesiastical law
  • 2 Law of debtor and creditor
  • 3 Law
    • 31 United States
  • 4 Criminal law
  • 5 Contract authority
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References

Ecclesiastical lawedit

In ecclesiastical law, appropriation is the perpetual annexation of an ecclesiastical benefice to the use of some spiritual corporation, either aggregate or sole In the Middle Ages in England the custom grew up of the monasteries reserving to their own use the greater part of the tithes of their appropriated benefices, leaving only a small portion to their vicars in the parishes On the dissolution of the monasteries the rights to collect "great tithes" were often sold off, along with former monastic lands, to laymen; whose successors, known as "lay impropriators" or "lay rectors," still hold them, the system being known as impropriation

Law of debtor and creditoredit

In the law of debtor and creditor, appropriation of payments is the application of a particular payment for the purpose of paying a particular debt When a creditor has two debts due to him from the same debtor on distinct accounts, the general law as to the appropriation of payments made by the debtor is that the debtor is entitled to apply the payments to such account as he thinks fit; solvitur in modum solventis In default of appropriation by the debtor the creditor is entitled to determine the application of the sums paid, and may appropriate them even to the discharge of debts barred by the Statute of Limitations In default of appropriation by either debtor or creditor, the law implies an appropriation of the earlier payments to the earlier debts


Main article: Appropriation bill

In constitutional law, appropriation is the assignment of money for a special purpose

In the United Kingdom an appropriation act appropriating various sums to government departments and quangos, as set out by the government

United Statesedit

Main article: Appropriations bill United States

In the United States, an appropriations bill is a bill that appropriates gives to, sets aside for money to specific federal government departments, agencies, and programs The money provides funding for operations, personnel, equipment, and activities1 Regular appropriations bills are passed annually, with the funding they provide covering one fiscal year The fiscal year is the accounting period of the American federal government, which runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year2 The United States Constitution art I § 9 says: "No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law" This places the responsibility and power of deciding appropriations under the jurisdiction of the United States House Committee on Appropriations and the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations1 Both committees have twelve matching subcommittees, each tasked with working on one of the twelve annual regular appropriations bills

Appropriations bills in the United States can also come in the format of an omnibus spending bill, a continuing resolution, or a supplemental appropriation bill If Congress has not enacted the regular appropriations bills by the start of a new fiscal year, it can pass a continuing resolution, which continues the pre-existing appropriations at the same levels as the previous fiscal year or with minor modifications for a set amount of time1 An omnibus spending bill is simply a combination of multiple appropriations bills into one larger appropriations bill Supplemental appropriations bills increase funding for activities that were already funded in previous appropriations bills or the provide new funding for unexpected expenses3 For example, both the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War were funded with a variety of supplemental appropriations45 Supplemental appropriations bills also provide funding for recovering from unexpected natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013

Criminal lawedit

In England and Wales, the Theft Act 1968 s 31 defines appropriation as "Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner"

Contract authorityedit

A contract authority is a form of budget authority that permits obligations to be made in advance of appropriations

See alsoedit

  • Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009
  • Omnibus spending bill
  • Appropriations bill United States


  1. ^ a b c Tollestrup, Jessica 23 February 2012 "The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction" PDF Congressional Research Service Retrieved 23 January 2014 
  2. ^ Heniff Jr, Bill 26 November 2012 "Basic Federal Budgeting Terminology" PDF Congressional Research Service Retrieved 9 January 2014 
  3. ^ Tollestrup, Jessica 23 February 2012 "The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction" PDF Congressional Research Service p 13 Retrieved 24 January 2014 
  4. ^ National Priorities Project | Bringing the Federal Budget Home from the Cost of War website
  5. ^ "Congressional Reports: Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan since 9/11" zFactsorg 2006-04-24 Retrieved 2006-08-15 
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed 1911 "Appropriation" Encyclopædia Britannica 11th ed Cambridge University Press 

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