State Budgets 2012: California



To see more state budget news and information, visit State Budgets 2012

Budget Background:

  • Fiscal Year Begins: July 
  • Frequency of Legislative Cycle: Biennial
  • Legislative Session for 2012: Convened Jan. 4, 2012
  • Frequency of Budget Cycle: Annual

Learn more from the National Association of State Budget Officers

Budget News and Information: 2012

6/28/12: Jerrry Brown signs budget that relies on voter-backed tax hikes

State lawmakers finished their work on the budget, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed it late Wednesday, ending the haggling over final details of California's spending plan. The budget closes the state's $15.7-billion deficit with cuts in social services and depends on voters approving more than $8 billion in temporary tax hikes at the ballot box in November. Without a higher sales tax and increased levies on the wealthy, the governor says, the state will cut billions from public schools.

Read more: The Los Angeles Times

6/18/12: California Legislature Approves $92.1 Billion Budget

California lawmakers narrowly met a constitutional deadline to pass a state budget Friday, but their work is not finished as they continue a tug-of-war with Gov. Jerry Brown over just how deeply to cut social services in the $92.1-billion plan. The budget -- pushed through the Legislature by Democrats without a single Republican vote -- makes fewer cuts to welfare and child care than the governor had sought and funds those programs through accounting maneuvers he opposes.

Read more: Los Angeles Times (via Governing)

6/14/12: California Democrats ready to send Gov. Jerry Brown a budget that rejects $1 billion in cuts

Legislative Democrats are poised to send Gov. Jerry Brown a budget that avoids deep new cuts in safety-net programs while reducing state worker pay and taking funds from courts and counties.

Read more: The Sacramento Bee

5/15/12: Optimistic projections led to dramatic surge in California budget deficit

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday that the state budget deficit had grown by a remarkable 70 percent since January, but fiscal experts said the economy had little to do with it.

Read more: The Sacramento Bee

4/10/12: California Monthly Revenue $233.5 Million Below Brown's Budget

California took in $233.5 million less in revenue in March than what Governor Jerry Brown estimated in his budget proposal, the state controller said. Most of the shortfall was caused by corporate tax receipts, which came in $125.8 million, or 8.2 percent, below projections, Controller John Chiang said in a statement. Sales taxes were down by $25.7 million. Personal-income taxes were $41.4 million below forecast, a gap caused by taxpayer refunds going out faster than expected. Brown, a 74-year-old Democrat, proposed a budget in January that seeks to erase a $9 billion deficit in part by asking voters to temporarily raise income and sales taxes through a November referendum.

Read more: Bloomberg

4/8/12: Major debates await Calif. lawmakers after break

Lawmakers will return from their spring recess on Monday to face fast-approaching deadlines for several critical decisions, including whether to make deeper cuts to social welfare programs, reform the public employee pension system and approve borrowing for a high-speed rail system.

Read more: Associated Press

4/1/12: California Democrats Duel Over Taxes, Budget

California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed ballot measure this fall to raise taxes and restore funding to an array of state programs faces unlikely opposition from a prominent Los Angeles lawyer who supported Mr. Brown's election only 17 months ago. Attorney Molly Munger has proposed a rival ballot issue that also would raise taxes but earmark most of the new revenues for schools.The clash between Ms. Munger and Mr. Brown highlights the tension within California's Democrats over how to prioritize spending now that the state is beginning to recover from its fiscal crisis.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

3/29/12: Republicans propose California budget with state worker pay cut

Legislative Republicans rolled out a budget plan Thursday that relies on cutting state worker pay, eliminating affordable housing funds and using pots of money dedicated for mental health and childhood development. Republicans believe their plan eliminates the state's $9.2 billion deficit without new taxes and preserves the same amount of funding for education that existed last year. They say it undercuts Gov. Jerry Brown's argument that voters must pass higher taxes in November to spare schools from deep reductions.

Read more: The Sacramento Bee

3/20/12: Brown calls his tax 'superior,' tackles budget gap

The governor on Tuesday countered new ads airing in Los Angeles and San Francisco for a tax proposal that competes with one he is proposing for the November ballot, saying his measure is superior because it would help fund schools and address California's $9.2 billion budget deficit.

Read more: Associated Press

3/15/12: Brown takes tougher tack on wealthy

Months ago, Gov. Jerry Brown won business and labor backing for an initiative that combined higher taxes on California's top income earners with a half-cent sales tax — a strategy he said would share the pain of addressing the state's budget woes. But on Wednesday, bowing to pressure from liberal activists, the governor modified his proposal, agreeing to cut the sales tax hike in half and place a greater share of the burden on the wealthy.

Read more: The Los Angeles Times

3/14/12: Dan Walters: Cloudiness over California school funding increases

Educating 6 million kids is not only the largest single piece of the state budget, but its most popular one – which explains why it always drives the Capitol's annual budget ritual.

Read more: The Sacramento Bee

3/12/12: California state revenues still rolling in below budget projections

State Controller John Chiang today released his monthly report covering California’s cash balance, receipts and disbursements in February, showing monthly revenues came in $146.3 million below (-3.2 percent) the latest projections contained in the Governor’s proposed 2012-13 Budget. That shortfall was likely caused by a large increase in early tax refunds going out during the month of February.

Read more: Orange County Breeze

3/8/12: Dan Walters: California budget could produce bizarre exercise

Political machinations over the state budget dominate every legislative session, but this year's version of the annual budget game may be particularly bizarre due to a confluence of unusual factors.

Read more: The Sacramento Bee

3/5/12: Students protest education cuts at Capitol rally

Thousands of college students plan to converge in Sacramento to call on state lawmakers to restore funding for higher education.

Read more: Associated Press

3/5/12: Dan Walters: California Capitol needs to close some tax loopholes

Tax codes are riddled with loopholes, and (a) new report says that the largest ones cost the state treasury about $45 billion a year, the equivalent of half the state's general fund budget.

Read more: The Sacramento Bee

2/27/12: California Lawmakers Introduce Online Gaming Bill

On Friday, California Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) introduced a bill that would allow online poker to be played within the state. The Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012, also known as SB 1463, seeks to generate "hundreds of millions of dollars" for the state in the fiscal year 2012-13. California is facing one of its most concerning budgetary crises in its history, and many state politicians have looked to online gaming to help get the budget under control.

Read more: Poker News

Budget News and Information: Previous Budget Cycles

6/30/11: Gov. Jerry Brown signs rare, on-time state budget

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Thursday a state budget pact struck with Democratic lawmakers that will curb services the state offers, marking only the second time California has enacted an on-time and balanced spending plan in a decade.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

6/17/11: Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes 'unbalanced' state budget

Gov. Jerry Brown issued a historic veto of the budget approved by Democratic lawmakers hours after they passed it, opening wide a rift within his own party and throwing the state's financial future into limbo.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

5/23/11: Brown's latest state budget is aggressive against debt

Like many cash-strapped families, California paid bills late and ran up its credit cards when the economy tanked. Gov. Jerry Brown says it is time to straighten up the state's finances, in part by extending higher taxes - on income, sales and vehicles - worth about $10 billion a year.

Read more: Sacramento Bee

5/16/11: Brown releases revised budget plan with $6.6 billion windfall

State revenue has rocketed to a projected $6.6 billion beyond expectations, a windfall that Gov. Jerry Brown wants to use to stabilize education spending and help repair California's battered finances.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

5/15/11: Gov. Jerry Brown not giving up on tax hikes to help California budget

Gov. Jerry Brown, facing mounting pressure to walk away from his stalled budget plan, is refusing to yield and will seek to reinvigorate his campaign for a public vote on taxes with the revised spending package he releases Monday.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

5/5/11: California has $2 billion in unexpected tax revenue

State officials are reporting an unexpected $2 billion surge in tax receipts that will help lawmakers close the remaining $15 billion budget deficit, and the Capitol is humming with hope that more is coming.

Read more: The Los Angeles Times

4/15/11: Brown Seeks Vote on Taxes in Fall

California Gov. Jerry Brown is trying a new tack to close the state's remaining $15.4 billion budget gap after the breakdown of a high-profile atempt to extend several taxes before their July 1 expiration.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

4/14/11: Jerry Brown hears about effects of state budget cuts in Stockton school visit

Gov. Jerry Brown came to Stockton to discuss his budget plan Thursday and got an earful from local teachers, administrators and elected officials about the effect of state budget cuts on local schools.

Read more: The Los Angeles Times

4/12/11: Options to fix state budget simply getting 'more difficult'

The choices - extending taxes or slashing funding for K-12 schools, universities, public safety and other programs - are ugly. So is inaction, which could jeopardize the state's credit and ability to pay bills.

Read more: The Contra Costa Times

4/5/11: Jerry Brown downplays budget rift in Sacramento speech

Gov. Jerry Brown sounded optimistic about the state’s budget problem Tuesday, downplaying the partisan rift that has halted budget negotiations in the Capitol.

Read more: The Los Angeles Times

3/31/11: Despite promises, partisan gridlock again blocks state budget

When Jerry Brown was running for governor last year, he vowed to break the partisan deadlock that had prevented legislators from fixing California's years-long budget mess. With his decades of experience in politics, including two previous terms as governor, Brown said he had the savvy it took to bring Republicans and Democrats together to find a solution.

Read more: The Orange County Register

3/30/11: Brown's California Dream Snarled by Dysfunction That Felled Schwarzenegger

California Governor Jerry Brown's campaign pledge to fix perennial budget jams with his ripened political acumen failed to overcome the government dysfunctions that ensnared his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Read more: Bloomberg

3/30/11: Jerry Brown ends talks on bipartisan budget deal

Gov. Jerry Brown has abandoned his effort to negotiate a bipartisan budget, charging that Republicans were unwilling to support his plan unless he yielded to "an ever-changing list of collateral demands."

Read more: Los Angeles Times

3/24/11: California may not sell bonds in 2011 if budget battle drags on

California's budget woes could keep the state from issuing any new general obligation bonds this year, Treasurer Bill Lockyer is warning.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

3/24/11: Brown signs off on billions worth of state cuts

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law billions of dollars worth of cuts to state services today, but acknowledged that state leaders still have to find more than $12 billion in cuts or revenues to close the state's budget gap.

Read more: San Francisco Chronicle

3/21/11: Governor Brown takes shots at Republicans he says are blocking his budget plan

He said he is still on a "conciliatory path" in budget negotiations, but Gov. Jerry Brown took some shots at Republicans on Monday night for blocking his plan to hold a special election on tax extensions.

Read more: Contra Costa Times

3/17/11: Lawmakers OK billions in program cuts in California budget

State lawmakers Wednesday approved billions of dollars in cuts to welfare, medical programs for the poor and in-home care for the elderly and frail, among other services, moving forward key pieces of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget reduction package.

Read more: The Los Angeles Times

3/16/11: California's Brown struggles to strike a budget deal on taxes, spending cuts

California Gov. Jerry Brown looked tired and sounded frustrated. Leaving an impromptu meeting with his finance director on Tuesday afternoon in the Capitol, he paused briefly to assess budget negotiations that have reached a critical stage.

Read more: The Washington Post

3/14/11: 'GOP Five' reach impasse in state budget negotiations

California Governor Jerry Brown has concentrated his budget negotiation efforts on five Republican Senators considered most willing to compromise. Brown needs at least four GOP votes— two in each house—for the tax portion of his budget to pass. The rest of the budget requires only a majority vote.

Read more: San Diego News Room

3/1/11: Public pension rollbacks won't balance state budget

Republicans in the State Legislature say they are prepared to hold up the state budget until Gov. Jerry Brown agrees to several key reforms, and a reduction of public pensions is near the top of that list.

Read more: Orange County Register

3/2/11: Brown's budget faces uphill battle

In an effort to combat tax increases, 30 Republican lawmakers in California have united in agreement to say "no" to placing additional tax burdens on the state.

Read more: One News Now

3/1/11: Updated budget proposal from Jerry Brown would fully eliminate all state RDA funds

New bill language in Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed state budget could spell a fatal prognosis for the town's redevelopment agency funding and its many projects.

Read more: Sierra Sun