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What the Constitution Says

June 11, 2003

The California Constitution instructs state lawmakers to pass the budget by midnight June 15. According to Article 4, Section 12:

(a) Within the first 10 days of each calendar year, the governor shall submit to the Legislature, with an explanatory message, a budget for the ensuing fiscal year containing itemized statements for recommended state expenditures and estimated state revenues. If recommended expenditures exceed estimated revenues, the governor shall recommend the sources from which the additional revenues should be provided.

(b) The governor and the governor-elect may require a state agency, officer or employee to furnish whatever information is deemed necessary to prepare the budget.

(c) The budget shall be accompanied by a budget bill itemizing recommended expenditures. The bill shall be introduced immediately in each house by the persons chairing the committees that consider appropriations. The Legislature shall pass the budget bill by midnight on June 15 of each year. Until the budget bill has been enacted, the Legislature shall not send to the governor for consideration any bill appropriating funds for expenditure during the fiscal year for which the budget bill is to be enacted, except emergency bills recommended by the governor or appropriations for the salaries and expenses of the Legislature.

(d) No bill except the budget bill may contain more than one item of appropriation, and that for one certain, expressed purpose. Appropriations from the general fund of the state, except appropriations for the public schools, are void unless passed in each house by roll call vote entered in the journal, two-thirds of the membership concurring.

(e) The Legislature may control the submission, approval and enforcement of budgets and the filing of claims for all state agencies.

Source: California Constitution

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