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March 12, 2008 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources
March 11, 2008 - Presented to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water
February 20, 2008 - We recommend that $6 million proposed for the Governor’s Hydrogen Highway initiative be rejected, because sufficient funding remains available from prior appropriations in light of the relatively little program progress to date. We also find that the Legislature is in a position to set its own hydrogen policy priorities before approving additional funding.
February 20, 2008 - We recommend the enactment of legislation to create a fee on timber operators to fully fund the review and enforcement of timber harvest plans by several state agencies, thereby creating General Fund savings of $21.2 million. Our recommendation is based on the application of the "beneficiary pays" funding principle.
February 20, 2008 - We recommend applying the "polluter pays" funding principle more fully to the State Water Resources Control Board’s core water quality and water rights programs by (1) increasing existing fees to fully cover regulatory program costs, and (2) enacting a new broad-based fee to fully fund water quality management programs. Adopting our recommendations would create General Fund savings of $30.6 million.
February 20, 2008 - The Governor’s proposed surcharge on commercial and residential insurance policies statewide to partially pay for wildland firefighting should be rejected in favor of a fee on property owners in "state responsibility areas" because these individuals directly benefit from the state’s firefighting services.
February 20, 2008 - We recommend the enactment of legislation to establish a fee to cover the department’s flood management expenditures that provide a direct benefit to property owners in flood zones statewide and those protected by the state Central Valley flood control system, thereby creating General Fund savings of about $40 million.
February 20, 2008 - Contrary to legislative direction, the Governor has failed to identify a stable, long-term source of funding in the budget for implementation of "AB 32"--climate change legislation enacted in 2006. Instead, the Governor has relied on more borrowing from unrelated special funds to pay for a majority of the program. While not taking issue with the merits of the activities proposed for funding, we recommend that the Legislature defer action on a majority of the budget proposal until the administration submits a funding plan that is responsive to legislative direction.
February 20, 2008 - Various Delta-related planning efforts, including Delta Vision, have made recommendations that, if adopted, will fundamentally change the future approach of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program. We recommend denial of some CALFED budget proposals on the basis that, contrary to recommendations of the planning efforts, they either lack clear objectives and funding priorities, do not apply the beneficiary pays funding principle, or do not meet the information needs of policy makers.
January 24, 2008 - First, we recommend the Legislature set explicit policy priorities in statute for addressing environmental problems at the Sea. We consider protection of air quality and preservation of wildlife habitat to be the highest priorities. Second, we recommend the Legislature adopt a comprehensive plan at the outset of the restoration process. Finally, we recommend the Legislature consider funding interim measures to address priority issues such as air quality or wildlife habitat in the near term.
January 3, 2008 - With the recent Southern California wildfires, there has been significant interest in the programs that are available to help disaster victims. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide information on the programs and funds available to deal with state disasters. We provide links to more specific information, such as program eligibility and rules.
November 29, 2007 - Presented to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water Hon. Darrell Steinberg, Chair Senate Committee on Governmental Organization Hon. Dean Florez, Chair
November 20, 2007 - Assembly Committee on Natural Resources Hon. Loni Hancock, Chair