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Important Budget Publications from California Department of Finance

‘Budget references’ are valuable to those involved or interested in the state budget process

By Chris Micheli, November 21, 2022 6:21 am

For those unfamiliar with the California budget process, the California Department of Finance (DOF) publishes a number of important “budget references” that are valuable to those involved or interested in the state budget process.

Department Index – this document provides an index of state agencies that are included in the annual budget and “this index can be used to quickly access information for a specific department.”

Glossary of Budget Terms – this document contains a list of budget terms and detailed definitions.

Fund Condition Statements – this document provides a list of Fund Condition Statements that are displayed in the Governor’s Budget.

Standard Footnotes – this document provides a key to standard footnotes that are used to identify the general classification of funds (general, special, federal) and identifies the specific fund types that are included in the budget’s expenditures totals.

Historical Charts – this document includes charts that are maintained by the Budget Operations Support Unit that contain information similar to the Summary Schedules, as well as certain historical data.

Historical Documents – this document provides a listing of documents related to the Governor’s proposed budget, as well as previously-adopted budgets.

Historical eBudgets – this document provides a listing of the links to prior eBudgets.

Uniform Codes Manual – this document provides a chart of the accounts that provide a uniform coding system for accounting and budget purposes that are used by all state departments.

Budget Process Overview – this document provides an overview of the state budget process, from its initial development to its introduction, enactment, and administration.

Manual of State Funds – this document contains descriptions of all the funds listed in the Uniform Codes Manual. “Each fund description provides the administering department, the authority that created the fund, the purpose of the fund, the appropriation authority of the fund, the date the fund is abolished, and the disposition of any balance when the fund is abolished.”

Summary of Fund Condition Statements – this document contains Schedule 10 from the state budget, which is a listing of the funds used by the state in alphabetical order. It also includes the beginning reserve, revenues, expenditures, and the ending reserve for the General Fund, as well as each special fund for the past, current, and budget years.

Salaries and Wages Supplement – this document is a listing of the job classifications, salaries, and wages paid for all state agencies for the past, current, and budget fiscal years. “This document is updated in early spring of each year.”

Finance Letters – this document includes the proposals made by the DOF Director to amend the Budget Bill and the Governor’s Budget to reflect any revised plans for expenditures for the budget year and current year.

Position Vacancy Report – this document contains the percentage of vacant positions for each state department, by month, and the total authorized positions for each of those departments, as well as the average percentage of vacant positions throughout the year for each state department.

Adjustments in Accounting Methods – this document provides descriptions of the major adjustments to accounting methods and the prior year fund balances as required by existing law.

Budget Frequently Asked Questions – this document provides answers to frequently asked questions to the budget and the budget process.

Budget Contacts – this document provides the DOF’s contact information for each major budget area.

As can be seen, the Department of Finance provides a number of important documents for understanding and tracking the budget and related activities in this state.

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