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September 11, 2006 - Presented to Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Hon. Martha Escutia, Chair Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee Hon. Mike Machado, Chair Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Hon. Lloyd Levine, Chair Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee Hon. Johan Klehs, Chair Assembly Natural Resources Hon. Loni Hancock, Chair
August 8, 2006 - Presented to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water Hon. Sheila James Kuehl, Chair and Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife Hon. Lois Wolk, Chair
May 23, 2006 - Presented to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Natural Resources and Environmental Protection
May 15, 2006 - Presented to Senate Governmental Organization Committee
April 26, 2006 - The state has long recognized its responsibility to protect the general health and safety of the people of California. To protect Californians from hazards posed by waste facilities and surface mines, the state’s environmental regulatory agencies require financial assurances from the owners/operators of these facilities-evidence that these parties have the financial capacity to restore public resources that they degrade. This report details California’s existing financial assurance requirements, examines shortcomings with the current financial assurance system, and recommends improvements. Adoption of our recommendations should decrease the likelihood that financial assurances will fail to serve their public purpose, thereby reducing the state’s exposure to significant financial risk in the future.
April 4, 2006 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3
April 3, 2006 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 2
March 22, 2006 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources
March 6, 2006 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 2
February 23, 2006 - As the state’s beverage container recycling rates persist below statutory targets, the balance in the Beverage Container Recycling Fund continues to swell. We recommend that the Legislature consider options to reduce the fund balance, both by reducing monies that flow into the fund and by increasing monies that flow out of the fund to support activities intended to increase the rate of recycling.
February 23, 2006 - The California Public Utilities Commission administers several programs designed to subsidize telecommunications services in order to ensure universal access to these services. One of these is the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) program, which provides discounts to schools, libraries, public hospitals and clinics, and community-based organizations (CBOs). While most of the eligible schools and libraries participate in the program, many eligible CBOs and public hospitals and clinics do not. We provide options to increase participation in the program by eligible entities.
February 23, 2006 - The Legislature intended that the monies in the School Land Bank Fund, managed by the State Lands Commission, be invested in land acquisitions that would generate revenue for the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRF). However, our review finds that the commission made no such investments over the past five years, nor does it propose to in the budget year. We therefore recommend that the balance in the School Land Bank Fund be transferred directly to TRF for investment by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.
February 23, 2006 - The budget proposes increased funding for flood management activities in the Department of Water Resources. Due to the critical need to improve the Central Valley flood control system, we recommend approval of this proposal. The Legislature will be evaluating other flood management proposals this session, including the Governor’s in his Strategic Growth Plan ($2.5 billion of bonds). When evaluating these proposals, the Legislature should consider: (1) the role of bond funding, (2) the relationship between land use and flood control, (3) application of “beneficiary pays” financing, and (4) the potential for increased state oversight of levees in the Delta region that are outside the Central Valley flood control system.
February 23, 2006 - A contract signed between the state and firefighters in the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will result in significantly increased employee compensation costs and additional staffing resources for the department. We think that is important for the Legislature—who must approve labor contracts—to have full information on the fiscal impact of changes to the department’s staffing resources, and whether less costly alternatives exist. We recommend the enactment of legislation to ensure that the Legislature is provided with sufficient information on the fiscal impacts of future contracts.