|Office website:||Official Link|
|Term limits:||2 terms|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||California Constitution, Article 5, Section 11|
|Assumed office:||January 2007|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other California Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Controller • Superintendent of Public Instruction • Agriculture Secretary • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Secretary • Industrial Relations Director • Public Utilities Commission|
The controller serves on 76 boards and one commission, including the Board of Equalization and the Franchise Tax Board. The areas of government audited and reviewed by the State Controller include California School Districts, the California State Lottery, Oil and Gas Lease Royalties, State Agencies, RDAs, and a multitude of local governments. The controller, like all California constitutional officers may be elected to a maximum of two four-year terms.
The current controller is John Chiang, who was first elected to the post in November 2006 and re-elected in November 2010. Chiang's tenure will end in January 2015, when his current term expires, as he will be constitutionally term-limited out of office.
Before becoming controller, Chiang served on the state Board of Equalization from 1998 to 2006. Previously, he was an attorney in the California controller's office and a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service. He earned his bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of South Florida and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
California Constitution, Article 5, Section 11
The Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, and Treasurer shall be elected at the same time and places and for the same term as the Governor.
Although there are no office-specific requirements for the office, each candidate for controller must:
- Be a registered voter
- Be registered with their party for at least three months
- Not have been registered with a different political party in the last 12 months
- Not have been previously term-limited out
Controllers are elected on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in federal midterm election years, e.g. 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018. Like all constitutional state officers, the controller assumes office on the first Monday in the new year following the election. Thus, January 3, 2011 and January 5, 2015 are inaugural days.
California Constitution, Article 5, Section 11
The Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, and Treasurer shall be elected at the same time and places and for the same term as the Governor. No Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Controller, or Treasurer may serve in the same office for more than 2 terms.
Controllers, like all state constitutional officers, face an absolute limit of two terms in office.
The vacancy procedure for the office of controller is determined by the Constitution. When a vacancy occurs, the governor nominates a replacement to serve the remainder of the term under the next election. The appointee must be confirmed by a majority of both house of the California legislature. Until the replacement is approved, the former officeholder's chief deputy exercises the office.
California Constitution, Article 5, Section 5b
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, or Attorney General, or on the State Board of Equalization, the Governor shall nominate a person to fill the vacancy who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority of the membership of the Senate and a majority of the membership of the Assembly and who shall hold office for the balance of the unexpired term. In the event the nominee is neither confirmed nor refused confirmation by both the Senate and the Assembly within 90 days of the submission of the nomination, the nominee shall take office as if he or she had been confirmed by a majority of the Senate and Assembly; provided, that if such 90-day period ends during a recess of the Legislature, the period shall be extended until the sixth day following the day on which the Legislature reconvenes.
The controller's primary responsibility is to track and control the disbursement of the state of California's money. Besides producing the warrants under which money is released from the state treasury, the controller's office audits personnel and payroll transactions, administers the Uniform State Payroll System for state employees, and "determine[s] legality and accuracy of every claim against the State." Before allowing the state's money to be dispersed, the controller's office "determines the legality and accuracy of all claims against the State through the performance of prepayment audits." Beyond his financial responsibilities, the controller's duties contain a public relations element; he is responsible for informing "the public of the State's financial condition," and "financial transactions of city, county and district governments."
The controller's office has several other miscellaneous fiscal duties, including a number related to tax administration; it administers the state's unclaimed property program, the Property Tax Postponement Program and collects the state's estate, inheritance and gift taxes. It also audits the use of gasoline and property taxes.
- Accounting and Reporting
- Administration & Disbursements
- Information Systems
- Unclaimed Property
In 2010, the controller received compensation in the amount of $130,490. The controller's salary, like that of all other state elected officials, is determined by the California Citizens Compensation Commission on an annual basis. The last time the controller's compensation was changed was 2009, when the office's salary and benefits were cut by 18 percent.
P.O. Box 942850
Sacramento, CA 94250-5872
(916) 445-2636 Office
(916) 322-4404 FAX
Los Angeles Office
777 South Figueroa Street,
Los Angeles, California 90017
(213) 833-6010 Office
(213) 833-6011 FAX
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 California Constitution, "Article 5, Section 11," accessed June 23, 2011.
- ↑ California Secretary of State, "Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for June 8, 2010 Primary Election... Secretary of State, Controller, or Treasurer," accessed June 23, 2011.
- ↑ California Elections Code, "Sections 1001-1003," accessed June 23, 2011.
- ↑ California Constitution, "Article 5, Section 5b," accessed June 27, 2011.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 California State Controller's Office, "Responsibilities of the Controller's Office," accessed June 24, 2011.
- ↑ Council of State Governments, "Book of the States 2010 -- Table 4.11," accessed June 23, 2011.