- Fact Check: Judicial Branch Budget
- California Budget Website
- State of California's Budget Process (Dept of Finance)
- Trial Court Financial Policies and Procedures
- Judicial Branch Financial Information
The Budget Process Begins with the Governor
The State Constitution requires that the Governor submit a balanced budget to the Legislature on January 10th of each year. The budget is revised in May and required to be adopted and balanced by June 30. This year, because of the devastating cuts to the judicial branch proposed in the Governor's May revised budget, the Chief Justice appointed an ad hoc budget group to lead negotiations while the Legislature considers the budget.
Judicial Branch Budget Review Process
Once the Legislature has passed a state budget, the Trial Court Budget Working Group—a team of 15 superior court judges and 15 court executive officers-- reviews the trial courts’ budget and prepares recommendations to the Judicial Council on the coming fiscal year. An appellate advisory group follows a similar process in reviewing the budgets for the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal. The advisory groups can also direct staff from the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to draw up budget change proposals for the next fiscal year.
See: Working Group and Appellate Leaders Wrestle Branch Budget (July 13, 2011)
Judicial Council Review (July or August)
Recommendations for the coming fiscal year and budget proposals for future fiscal years go before the Judicial Council in a business meeting open to the public. The council makes allocations and sets priorities for the branch.
Listen: Budgets: Overview of Fund Types Supporting the Judicial Branch
Sixteen different funding sources come into the Judicial Branch, not including funds generated locally. This audio presentation by the AOC Finance Division to the Judicial Council provides an overview these funding sources and general dollar amounts for each.
Budget discussions are archived in audio format here. Video highlights from council meetings contain details on the budget process and are available on the California Courts YouTube channel.