The California Budget Project has released an informative report explaining how California's tax dollars are spent. As the brief explains, the state budget is really a local budget:
More than 70 cents out of every dollar spent through the state budget goes to local communities, health care providers, and individuals.
That's right: only about 29 cents of every state tax dollar actually support what normally would be considered "state operations."
More than 50 cents of every state dollar goes to education, nearly 30 cents to health and human services, more than 10 cents goes to corrections, leaving only nine cents left to support other key services and institutions. Meanwhile, only corrections spending has grown significantly faster than overall spending since 1980-81, with K-12 education spending slightly ahead of the average spending growth.
Far too many Californians do not understand these facts. That is one of the reasons our state budget debates are so dysfunctional. Cuts to the state actually mean cuts in our neighborhoods. To read this important budget brief, please click here to see the report in pdf format.