State Budget


How the State Budget Process Works

The California budget is created from a multi-faceted process that takes place in the first half of each calendar year. CFT is an active participant in the process because public school and community college districts receive two-thirds of their funding from the state, and decisions made by state legislators set the stage for those made by district governing boards.

Below is a summary of the budget timeline.

  • In early January the governor proposes a budget.
  • In February the Legislative Analyst examines the proposals and issues a report. Budget committees meet in the California Assembly and Senate to discuss the proposals.
  • The next milestone is the May Revision, in which the governor can revise his January proposals based on updated revenue projections and refinements of earlier ideas. Committees continue to meet in the Assembly and Senate to discuss the proposals.
  • The Legislature must send its budget to the governor by June 15. Thanks to voters who passed CFT-sponsored Proposition 25 in 2010, the Legislature can now pass the budget with a simple majority vote. Until then, the required two-thirds vote caused disastrous delays in funding. Prop 25 helps ensure the budget is on-time and not delayed.
  • Once the governor receives the Legislature’s budget, he has the opportunity to exercise line-item vetoes, but he cannot add additional appropriations.
  • The governor must sign the final budget by June 30.

The CFT Research Department analyzes the state budget and the impact it will have on education, from early childhood to university. The Research Briefs span the timeline of budget process, from the governor’s January proposals to the adopted and signed budget.