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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
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