California State Budget Expenditures by Top 25 Departments. This graph is a bit more interesting. A couple features provide startling insights into the decline of California political priorities:

1. Look at the top green stream: that's UC spending. Unbelievable. It's now dwarfed by Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, although historically that wasn't the case.

Incidentally, the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation was known as Department of Corrections until 2005 (and has a separate line-item in the raw data spreadsheet.) Wonder if that name change was one of Schwarzeneggar's maverick reforms.

2. Notice the second purple stream that briefly appears for a few years around the end of the 1990's labeled "Tax Relief." Based on some reading I've done, I suspect this is tied to the reduction in Vehicle Registration Fees that Pete Wilson oversaw during his term and that eventually led to Gray Davis's recall and Schwarzeneggar's election in 2003. Compare the amount represented there to the figures you hear thrown around for the "budget deficit". A genie that still vexes us today.

I plan to take up the subject of Vehicle Registration Fees in more detail in the future.
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