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The California budget process moves quickly after the governor releases the “May Revision” in mid-May. This revised budget proposal opens a crucial window for public engagement, but the tight timeline can make advocating for your priorities challenging.

Here’s a breakdown of the key stages: 

  • May Revision: The governor releases an updated budget proposal on or before May 14. This is your chance to weigh in with, and express, your budget priorities to policymakers.
  • Budget Negotiations: Policymakers engage in intense negotiations to reconcile the governor’s budget plan with legislative priorities throughout May and June.
  • Legislative Budget Plan: Roughly 10 to 14 days after the May Revision (timing depends on when the revised budget is released), the Assembly and Senate release their own budget plans. Roughly 2 to 3 weeks after the May Revision, legislative leaders agree on a unified legislative budget plan. This plan forms the basis for the Budget Act. A deal with the governor at this stage is possible but not very likely. 
  • Constitutional Deadline: The Legislature passes the Budget Act by June 15 — the constitutional deadline — and sends it to the governor, even as negotiations continue between legislative leaders and the governor on the full budget package.  
  • Budget Deal Announcement: The “Big 3” — the governor, Assembly Speaker, and Senate President pro Tempore — typically announce a final budget deal by late June.
  • Budget Package Approval: In late June, all budget-related legislation (including trailer bills) is unveiled, voted on by both houses of the Legislature, and signed by the governor, potentially with line-item vetoes.

The June package isn’t the end of the story. In August, state leaders often revisit the budget, potentially adding to the size and scope of the original budget package enacted earlier in the summer.

📌 As you and your colleagues navigate another budget and legislative season, we recommend you bookmark our essential budget resources:

Media Contacts

Kyra Moeller
Communications Strategist

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