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January 8, 2009 - The Governor’s budget framework makes a good faith effort to close a colossal $40 billion budget gap. The Legislature, however, can improve the plan by making further use of the ballot, adopting more strategic programmatic reductions and revenue increases, and reducing the reliance on borrowing. There are no easy paths to solving the crisis. But it is urgent that the Legislature and Governor act immediately to address a budgetary and cash situation that has the state on the edge of fiscal disaster
December 1, 2008 - The role of the Legislative Analyst's Office is to review state programs and make recommendations to the Legislature as to how the state can operate more effectively and efficiently. This report summarizes various changes to law that we have recommended in recent years. Recommendations in this report include, among many others: (a) Simplify and Consolidate K-12 General Purpose Funding, (b) Promote the Adoption of Health Information Technology in California, (c) Fund Inmate Education Programs Based on Actual Attendance, and (d) Increase and Index the State Gas Tax.
November 20, 2008 - The state’s struggling economy has severely reduced expected revenues. Combined with rising state expenses, we project that the state will need $27.8 billion in budget solutions over the 2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal years. The state’s revenue collapse is so dramatic and the underlying economic factors are so weak that we forecast huge budget shortfalls through 2013-14 absent corrective action. From 2010-11 through 2013-14, we project annual shortfalls that are consistently in the range of $22 billion. Closing a projected $28 billion budget shortfall will be a monumental task. We believe the Legislature must take major ongoing actions by both reducing base spending and increasing revenues. If the Legislature has any hope of developing a fiscally responsible 2009–10 budget, it must begin laying the groundwork now.
November 11, 2008 - Mac Taylor discusses the LAO's Overview of the 2008 Special Session Proposals.
November 10, 2008 - We concur with the administration’s assessment that the state’s struggling economy signals a major reduction in expected revenues. Combined with rising state expenses, we project that the state will need $27.8 billion in budget solutions over the next 20 months. The state’s revenue collapse is so dramatic and the underlying economic factors are so weak that we forecast huge budget shortfalls through 2013‑14 absent corrective action. From 2010‑11 through 2013‑14, we project annual shortfalls that are consistently in the range of $22 billion.
November 1, 2008 - The state’s already difficult budget situation was made worse this year by a significant drop in revenues due to a sluggish economy. The enacted budget, combined with special session actions in February 2008, contains about $24 billion in solutions and projects a General Fund reserve of $1.7 billion. Overall, the state spending plan for 2008–09 includes total budget expenditures of $131.6 billion. This includes $103.4 billion from the General Fund and $28.2 billion from special funds. Total state spending declines slightly by $511 million from 2007–08 (0.4 percent). Bond fund spending is expected to increase by 1.3 percent, as the state continues to allocate funds from the $43 billion bond package approved at the November 2006 election.
November 1, 2008 - We did not publish a Major Features report in 2008. The links above will open instead the California Spending Plan 2008-09: The Budget Act and Related Legislation, published in November, 2008, which provides similar information in more detail.
October 8, 2008 - Statements of intent for requests for studies adopted by the Legislature as a supplement to the 2008 Budget Act. (This report was updated on October 8, 2008, to reflect Errata language.)
June 2, 2008 - Presented to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee: LAO and DOF revenue overview and possible action hearing
May 19, 2008 - Elizabeth Hill discusses the LAO's Overview of the 2007-08 May Revision.
May 19, 2008 - The state faces a remaining budget shortfall of $15 billion, after accounting for the $7 billion in solutions adopted as part of the special session. We have updated our LAO alternative budget, which remains balanced through our forecast period, to reflect the state’s worsening fiscal situation. Our plan includes a more responsible lottery securitization—resulting in a General Fund benefit of $5.6 billion over two years—with a dramatically reduced risk to education’s lottery funding. Finally, we offer some much simpler approaches to increasing the size of the state’s reserve in good fiscal times.
March 13, 2008 - After 32 years of service to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, including nearly 22 years as the Legislative Analyst, Elizabeth Hill advised Legislative Leadership and Members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee late yesterday that she will retire at the end of this legislative session. Ms. Hill, the fourth Legislative Analyst in the office’s 67 year history, expressed her thanks for the opportunity to serve the Legislature in this nonpartisan capacity advising the body on fiscal and policy issues. Here she answers questions from the media.
February 26, 2008 - In an interview on the California Channel's "California Conversations" Elizabeth Hill answers questions the state's fiscal condition and the LAO's alternative budget plan.