California is experiencing a stronger economic rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, resulting in a surplus in 2022-23, but longer-term questions remain. How can the state maintain a balanced budget without drastic cuts to important programs, such as education, social safety net, homelessness, and healthcare? Do taxes need to be raised to maintain funding for key programs?
A nonpartisan budget simulation in which users select spending and revenue options in order to create their own versions of the state budget and learn about the trade-offs lawmakers are faced with when crafting the budget.
On May 13, 2022, the Governor released the May Revision to his proposed 2022-23 budget. The Governor and Legislature must agree on the budget by June 15, 2022 ahead of the start of the fiscal year on July 1, 2022.
Users are presented with spending options first, followed by revenue and reserve options. Choose the option you think is best and see how it impacts the starting surplus or deficit. The goal is to finish the Budget Challenge with either a balanced budget or surplus, and additional background information is available for each category.