The $96.3-billion spending plan for the general fund contains much of what Brown sought when he released his initial blueprint in January, including a shift of some school money from wealthy districts to those with large numbers of poor students and English-learners.
It also lays the groundwork for more spending on social services, university tuition assistance and mental health care in future years, a priority of the Legislature's leaders.
"The budget is balanced," as state law requires, the governor said.
Administration officials are expected to detail soon whether the governor vetoed any line items from the budget.
Last year, Brown signed the budget at night in his Capitol office with only a few aides and a photographer present. This year, there was a more festive atmosphere.
The governor signed the spending plan at a news conference at the Capitol with top Democratic lawmakers, with the officials celebrating what they characterized as California's new financial health.