Our State Budget Is a Local Budget

A little-known fact about the $91.3 billion state General Fund budget that took effect on July 1 is that it’s primarily a local budget, with the vast majority of state dollars flowing to local communities.

More than 70 cents out of every state dollar goes toward “local assistance.” This includes support for public schools and community colleges, financial aid for low-income college students, and cash assistance and services for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Local assistance funding also goes to doctors who provide health care through the Medi-Cal Program, which serves millions of low-income children, parents, and seniors.

The other big category of state spending – accounting for more than 25 cents out of every state dollar – is known as “state operations.” Much of this funding also flows to local communities, including support for the 33 campuses of the California State University and the University of California, 33 state prisons, veterans services, state parks, and environmental protection.

State dollars play an important role in strengthening local economies and creating a high quality of life. So all Californians have a stake in our state budget and in helping ensure that our state’s finances are on solid footing.

— Scott Graves