Council member John Gericke proposed that the budget be sent to the council 45 days before consideration and adoption. He said it was something the council asked for last year, but never received.
The city administrator, finance director and attorney warned that making this part of city code could have consequences, including the state voiding their budget if the new deadline isn't met.
But, council members criticized last year's budget process.
"It needs to be done. We don't need to be scrambling around the ant hill looking for stuff a week before the budget is due. It just can't happen again," said council member Mike Paulick.
"We really need to get our act together," said council member Mitch Nickerson. "We can't make it a law without really knowing what that means."
City Administrator Mary Lou Brown said last year was unique, with a director's family death straining the budget progress.
Still, the council voted 6-4 in favor of the amendment.
It ultimately failed when the council couldn't get enough votes to override a veto from the mayor.
The issue is expected to be brought before council again.