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March 15, 2007 - Presented to The Environmental Justice Advisory Committee on Implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
March 13, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife
March 13, 2007 - Presented to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water
March 7, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources
March 6, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife
March 5, 2007 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 2
February 27, 2007 - Presented to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water
February 21, 2007 - On numerous occasions, the Legislature has stressed the fundamental role that management of data—including permitting, enforcement, and water quality—plays in assisting the State Water Resources Control Board carry out its mission. Legislative oversight of the board’s information technology (IT) projects is critical, as we find that the board has been developing information technology systems outside of the budget process and that the board lacks an up-to-date strategic plan to guide its IT activity. We make a number of recommendations to provide the necessary oversight.
February 21, 2007 - The budget proposes $473.6 million across eight state agencies for the CALFED Bay-Delta Program in 2007-08. We recommend tying the use of performance measures (currently under development) to the budget process, and raise concerns about a number of CALFED’s budget proposals. Specifically, we find that the funding proposal for the South Delta Improvements program is premature, matching funds are lacking to allow the surface storage feasibility study work to practically proceed, and that the budget inappropriately proposes bond funds to replace water user funding contributions that have run out to support a conservation planning effort that benefits the water users.
February 21, 2007 - Despite a growing backlog in deferred maintenance at state parks (currently over $900 million) the budget provides no funding to address the problem. There is also a significant funding shortfall related to ongoing maintenance at state parks. To address these problems, we recommend using $160 million of Proposition 84 bond funds allocated to state park restoration and rehabilitation for deferred maintenance, and augmenting the department’s ongoing maintenance budget by $15 million, funded from fees.
February 21, 2007 - The fire protection budget of the state’s forestry department (mostly funded from the state General Fund) continues to rise significantly. This reflects changing forest conditions fueling fire risk, increasing housing development at the wildland-urban boundary, and increasing labor costs. We make a number of recommendations to control the rising costs, including clarifying state and local roles for providing emergency services, modifying the criteria by which land is designated a state responsibility for fire protection, and enacting a fee on private landowners to partially cover the state‘s costs in providing fire protection services that benefit them.
February 21, 2007 - The budget proposes $36 million across several state agencies to implement 2006 legislation (AB 32, Nuñez) that sets objectives and provides a roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The Governor’s climate change budget proposals circumvent legislative direction, by moving prematurely to implement a market-based regulatory mechanism and assigning a role to the Cal-EPA Secretary that goes beyond coordination. There also is no long-term plan for funding these proposals, a concern since most of the proposed funding sources will run out in the next budget year.
February 21, 2007 - We recommend that funding for the State Water Project (SWP), the state’s main water conveyance system connecting Northern and Southern California, be brought "on budget." This is because SWP’s current off-budget status makes it difficult for the Legislature to comprehensively address the state’s water policy issues, particularly in light of SWP’s increasing fiscal and programmatic ties to other state on-budget programs, such as the CALFED Bay-Delta Program.
February 21, 2007 - The budget reflects a major infusion of funding, mostly from bond funds, for flood management. We make a number of recommendations to ensure that a systematic approach is used to complete improvements and repairs to the state’s Central Valley flood control system, including requiring the Department of Water Resources to provide a plan for independent review and oversight of its flood-related capital outlay projects.
February 21, 2007 - The budget proposes over $2.3 billion in bond funding for various resources programs, most of which comes from two resources bonds approved by voters in November 2006. The state would spend substantially higher bond amounts than in the current year, particularly for flood management. To ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the new bonds, we recommend that the Legislature set funding priorities to guide new programs created by the bonds; establish appropriate cost-sharing arrangements; ensure related programs are coordinated; and exercise oversight by holding hearings, establishing reporting requirements, and controlling administrative costs. review infrastructure