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Dollar Items

Supplementary estimates often include what are known as “one dollar items”, which seek an alteration in the existing allocation of funds authorized in the main estimates. The purpose of a dollar item is not to seek new or additional money but rather to spend money already authorized for a different purpose within a single department or agency.

Since “estimates” are budgetary items, they must have a dollar value. However, because no new funds are requested, the “one dollar” is merely a symbolic amount.

Dollar items may be used:

The inclusion of one dollar items in the estimates cannot be used to “legislate”, meaning it cannot be used to obtain new legislative authority that would otherwise require separate enabling legislation through the regular legislative process, outside the supply procedure.

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