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California State Controller

State Controller of California
Seal of the California State Controller
Betty Yee

since January 5, 2015
Style The Honorable
Term length Four years, two term limit
Inaugural holder John S. Houston
Formation California Constitution
Website California State Controller's Office

The State Controller is the Chief Financial Officer of the State of California in the United States. The post has broader responsibilities and authority than the California State Treasurer. Responsibilities include investigative authority for every dollar spent by the state, and being an ex-officio member of the state's Board of Equalization.

The State Controller is elected to a four-year term but is limited to two terms. The current state controller is Betty Yee.


  • As the state’s chief fiscal officer, acts as the state’s accountant and bookkeeper of all public funds.
  • Administers the state payroll system and unclaimed property laws.
  • Conducts audits and reviews of state operations. The office performs a multitude of financial audits, compliance audits and attestations. 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. It is considered one of the premiere audit agencies of the State of California.


The Office has a staff of Deputy State Controllers that help the State Controller fulfill his elected duties, including sitting on the Board of Equalization and other boards for the State Controller in absentia. Noted former Deputy State Controllers include Barrett McInerney, James Burton, Laurette Healey, and Rex Halverson.

List of California State Controllers

File:300 Capitol Mall Sacramento.jpg
300 Capitol Mall is home to several state agencies including the Controller's Office
Name Party Term
John S. Houston Democratic 1849–1852
Winslow S. Pierce Democratic 1852–1854
Samuel Bell Democratic 1854–1856
George W. Whitman American Party 1856–1857
Edward F. Burton American Party 1857
George W. Whitman American Party 1857–1858
Aaron R. Melony Lecompton Democrat 1858–1860
Samuel H. Brooks Lecompton Democrat 1860–1861
James S. Gillan Democratic 1861–1862
Gilbert R. Warren Republican 1862–1863
George R. Oulton Constitutional Union 1863–1867
Robert Watt Democratic 1867–1871
James J. Green Republican 1871–1875
James W. Mandeville Democratic 1875–1876
William B. C. Brown Democratic 1876–1877
Daniel M. Kenfield Republican 1877–1883
John P. Dunn Democratic 1883–1891
Edward P. Colgan Republican 1891–1906
A. B. Nye Republican 1906–1913
John S. Chambers Republican 1913–1920
Ray L. Riley Republican 1921–1937
Harry B. Riley Republican 1937–1946
Thomas Kuchel Republican 1946–1953
Robert C. Kirkwood Republican 1953–1959
Alan Cranston Democratic 1959–1967
Houston I. Flournoy Republican 1967–1975
Kenneth Cory Democratic 1975–1987
Gray Davis Democratic 1987–1995
Kathleen Connell Democratic 1995–2003
Steve Westly Democratic 2003–2007
John Chiang Democratic 2007–2015
Betty Yee Democratic 2015–Present


  1. ^ California State Controller's Office. Boards and commissions. Retrieved November 4, 2008.