October 17, 2019

The 2019‑20 Budget: California Spending Plan

Capital Outlay

Overall, the Legislature approved $3.5 billion for about 200 capital outlay projects in 2019‑20. This funding is for various phases of projects, from preliminary plans to construction. Total estimated costs for all of these projects are $12.5 billion. For a complete list of all state capital outlay projects approved in the 2019‑20 budget, see our Supplemental Report of the 2019‑20 Budget Act. (The report generally does not include state funding for local infrastructure projects.)

In total, 20 departments had at least one capital outlay project approved in 2019‑20. Projects in three departments received nearly three-quarters of the capital outlay funds approved: Department of General Services (DGS) ($1.1 billion), California State University ($1 billion), and California Community Colleges ($539 million). The project receiving the most funding in 2019‑20 is DGS’s New Richards Boulevard Office Complex in Sacramento ($1 billion). This and some other individual capital outlay projects are discussed in more detail in the other 2019‑20 Spending Plan posts.

Capital outlay projects can be funded through a variety of different fund sources, including the General Fund, special funds, bonds, and federal funds. The vast majority of the approved capital outlay funds in 2019‑20 are from three sources: the General Fund ($1.5 billion); Public Buildings Construction Fund ($1.1 billion), which comes from lease revenue bonds; and the 2016 California Community College Capital Outlay Bond Fund, which comes from general obligation bonds passed in Proposition 51 (2016) ($539 million).

We note that not all state capital outlay projects are approved by the Legislature in the annual budget act. For example, while the Legislature approves the overall budget for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), individual projects generally are approved by the California Transportation Commission. In addition, there are some capital expenditures that are continuously appropriated, such as some bond funds.