To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.
October 18, 2017 - Each year, our office publishes the California Spending Plan to summarize the annual state budget. This publication discusses the 2017‑18 Budget Act and other major budget actions approved in 2017. In general, it reflects budgetary actions that the Legislature has taken through September 2017. In some cases, as noted, we discuss budget actions approved by the Legislature after June 15, 2017. In late July, for example, the Legislature passed and the Governor approved, an extension of authority for the Air Resources Board to implement the state’s cap‑and‑trade program from 2020 to 2030.
July 19, 2017 - Statements of legislative intent and requests for studies adopted during deliberations on the 2017-18 budget package.
Correction 7/31/17: Removed 3100-301-0001 California Science Center – ADA elevator.
Correction 7/31/17: Title of item 1701-001-0067 changed to “Broker-Dealer Investment Advisor Program.”
May 30, 2017 - Presented to: Budget Conference Committee
May 19, 2017 - This post presents our multiyear outlook for the condition of the state budget through 2020-21 based on current federal and state law and policies, as modified by the Governor’s May Revision proposals. This outlook assumes the passage of the Governor’s proposals, but uses our office’s own estimates of future costs of state programs, along with our own estimates of revenues.
May 12, 2017 - As our office publishes responses to the Governor's 2017-18 May Revision, we will add them to this index page.
March 24, 2017 - This post provides an overview and history of the state’s budget reserves. It also includes an interactive graphic comparing actual reserves to enacted reserves over time.
February 23, 2017 - Proposition 2 (2014) requires the state to make: (1) minimum annual payments toward certain eligible debts and (2) deposits into the state’s rainy day fund. This publication outlines alternatives to the Governor’s proposals that could free up General Fund resources. It also addresses whether the Legislature can access funds from state’s rainy day reserve under the measure’s budget emergency provisions.
February 9, 2017 - In this web post, we assess and make recommendations regarding the Governor's proposal for California Highway Patrol office replacements.
January 18, 2017 - These online posts estimate and explore federal expenditures in California, which we define as the amount of federal spending that we can directly attribute to recipients in California. In this set of posts, we display total federal expenditures by major program, recipient, and county. We also compare federal expenditures in California to other states.
January 13, 2017 - This publication is our office’s initial response to the Governor's 2017-18 budget proposal. The administration's estimates anticipate slow growth in the personal income tax (PIT), the state’s dominant revenue source. The Governor’s estimate of PIT growth in 2017-18 is probably too low. As a result, by the May Revision, the state could have more General Fund revenue than the Governor now projects, but much of that revenue would be required to go to schools and Proposition 2 reserves and debt payments. Facing uncertainties we have long discussed about the economy and new uncertainties about changes to federal policy, the Legislature may want to set a target for total state reserves at—or preferably above—the level the Governor now proposes.
January 1, 2017 - An index of publications on the 2017-18 budget.
December 5, 2016 - With a state as big, as populous, and as complex as California, it would be impossible to quickly summarize how its economy or state budget works. The purpose of Cal Facts is more modest. By providing various "snapshot" pieces of information, we hope to provide the reader with a broad overview of public finance and program trends in the state.
Cal Facts consists of a series of charts and tables which address questions frequently asked of our office. We hope the reader will find it to be a handy and helpful document.
November 16, 2016 - On November 16th our office released its annual Fiscal Outlook. The outlook provides our assessment of California’s budget condition through 2020-21. This post provides more details on the outlook’s estimates of constitutionally required debt payments and reserve deposits under Proposition 2.
November 16, 2016 - Under our current projections, assuming no changes in existing state and federal policies, we estimate the state will end the 2017-18 fiscal year with $11.5 billion in total reserves. This includes $8.7 billion in required reserves, which must be deposited into the rainy day fund, and $2.8 billion in discretionary reserves, which the Legislature can appropriate for any purpose. These reserve levels reflect the continued progress California has made in improving its budget situation. Our estimates include the effects of statewide ballot measures that were approved on November 8. The condition of the state budget depends on many volatile and unpredictable factors. This uncertainty is present in the near term and becomes greater in each subsequent year. We discuss two illustrative economic scenarios for the fiscal years after 2017-18. Under a mild recession scenario, the state would have enough reserves to cover its operating deficits through 2020-21. This means, under our assumptions, the state could weather a mild recession without cutting spending or raising taxes. However, this conclusion assumes that the state does not make any changes to its current policies and programs in any year during the outlook. This outlook also assumes no changes in federal policy, even though the recent election results suggest some such changes are now likely. State or federal policy changes could have a significant impact on the state's bottom line.
October 5, 2016 - Each year, the Legislative Analyst’s Office publishes the California Spending Plan to summarize the annual state budget. This publication discusses the 2016–17 Budget Act and other major budget actions approved during 2016. Unless indicated otherwise, figures and dollar amounts generally refer to budget actions passed as part of the June 2016 budget package, as signed into law on June 27 and July 1, 2016. In some cases, as noted, we discuss later budget actions approved during August 2016 by the Legislature. During August, for example, the Legislature and the Governor agreed to spend certain cap–and–trade funds. The budget totals include $400 million (General Fund) for affordable housing even though the Legislature and Governor have not reached agreement on this spending.
This year's California Spending Plan includes an interactive graphic to help the reader visualize how the state budget spent $167 billion in total state revenues.