California Budget ChallengeAbout Next 10Budget Overview

Budget Basics

Budget Overview

Each year the Governor and Legislature work together to pass the state’s annual budget that determines how our taxes will be spent on state-funded programs like education, healthcare, and human services. The primary state fund is the General Fund, though total state funding also includes special and federal funds.

The California Constitution requires the legislature to pass a balanced budget each year, in which expected revenues meet or exceed expected expenditures. The budget process begins by the Governor releasing his or her proposed budget on January 10th of a given year, and the deadline to pass the budget is June 15th. The 2020-21 fiscal year begins on July 1, 2020 and will end June 30, 2021. The final 2020-21 budget will be called the 2020 Budget Act.

PROPOSED JANUARY BUDGET: Of the $222 billion in total state funds for 2020-21, $153 billion (68.9%) are General Fund, $63.8 billion (28.7%) are special funds, and $5.4 billion (2.4%) are bond funds.

PROPOSED MAY REVISION BUDGET (below): Of the $203 billion in total state funds for the revised 2020-21 budget, $133 billion (65.5%) are General Fund, $63.4 billion (31.2%) are special funds, and $6.04 billion (3%) are bond funds.

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