The governor was joined by Democratic legislative leaders as he signed the budget for the fiscal year starting Monday. It includes a $96.3 billion general fund, the state's main account for paying ongoing expenses.
The size of the general fund and a reserve account of $1.1 billion reflect the continuing recovering of California's economy and $6 billion in voter-approved taxes. Declining tax revenue during the recession had cut the general fund to as low as $87 billion just two years ago, requiring lawmakers to make deep spending cuts.
"This is a momentous occasion, because we have a balanced budget not proposed but actually actualized, the first time in probably a decade or more," the governor said moments before signing the spending plan.
He declared it "a big day" for public school students and those who have no health insurance or inadequate coverage.
The budget for the coming fiscal year adopts a new funding formula for public schools that will send more money to districts with disadvantaged students. It also expands Medicaid to an additional 1.4 million low-income Californians.