Local Government Publications

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Realignment and the 2003-04 Budget

February 19, 2003 - We identify factors to weigh in considering which programs would benefit from realignment. Using these factors, we identify $9.1 billion in programs meriting consideration: $5.1 billion of programs proposed by the administration and $4 billion of programs suggested by our office. Because realignment plans are difficult to modify over time, we recommend the Legislature take a long-term view in enacting program and funding changes.


The Governor's Tax Proposal: Evaluation and Alternatives

February 19, 2003 - The Governor is proposing an $8.3 billion total tax increase to fund his realignment program and reduce the General Fund's budget shortfall. This proposal would raise the sales and use tax by one percentage point ($4.6 billion), establish 10 percent and 11 percent high-income tax brackets ($2.6 billion), and raise the cigarette tax by $1.10 per pack ($1.2 billion).


Water Special Districts: A Look at Governance and Public Participation

March 15, 2002 - Chapter 107, Statutes of 2001 (AB 38, Strom-Martin), requires the Legislative Analyst’s Office to undertake a study of these special districts. In this review we find that while some individual districts have pursued controversial policies, there is no evidence of a statewide structural governance problem.


Peace Officer Procedural Bill of Rights (POBOR) Mandate

February 20, 2002 - We recommend the Legislature delete $50 million proposed to reimburse local governments for the POBOR mandate in the budget year. We recommend the Legislature refer the matter to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) for review and recommendation on possible revisions to the mandate's parameters and guidelines.


Mental Health Services for Special Education Pupils

February 20, 2002 - We recommend the Legislature set aside funding for the AB 3632 program mandate--"Services to Handicapped Students"--pending development of a new program of county mental health services for special education pupils.


The Vehicle License Fee and The 2002-03 Budget

February 20, 2002 - We provide a history of the VLF tax reductions and an explanation of the distribution of the revenues. We also answer many common questions regarding the VLF—including information about the insufficient moneys provision in current law.


Proposition 98 Mandates

February 20, 2002 - We discuss the implications of the proposal in the Governor's Budget to delay reimbursement of the $66.7 million budget-year appropriation for the School Bus Safety II mandate and suspend six other education mandates.


Realignment Revisited: An Evaluation of the 1991 Experiment In State-County Relations

February 6, 2001 - Realignment, enacted in 1991, transferred various mental health, health, and social services programs from the state to county control. It also altered program cost-sharing ratios, and provided counties with dedicated tax revenues to pay for these changes. Although realignment has been largely successful, we recommend implementation of several changes including a simplified allocation structure for new revenues that relies on a single formula.


An Evaluation of the School Facility Fee Affordable Housing Assistance Programs

January 18, 2001 - Proposition 1A of 1998 authorized $9.2 billion to finance school facilities. Its companion legislation appropriated $160 million to reimburse school facility fees paid for new homes. In this report we recommend that the Legislature eliminate the $60 million in scheduled appropriations for these reimbursements in 2001-02 and 2002-03.


Property Tax Administration Funding Not Ideal Approach

February 17, 2000 - We recommend that the Legislature not extend the sunset of the Property Tax Administration Loan Program and instead consider alternatives that would provide a long-term structural improvement to the property tax system.


Fiscal Challenge From Three Major Lawsuits

February 17, 2000 - California faces a very positive budgetary environment, but three legal challenges--Special Education. Property Tax Shift, and Smog Impact Fees--pose some fiscal concern.


Reconsidering AB 8: Exploring Alternative Ways to Allocate Property Taxes

February 3, 2000 - In 1999 the Legislature stated its intent to revamp the property tax allocation system. We examine five alternatives for improving local finance.


Local Investment Reporting Mandate

January 18, 2000 - We recommend that the Legislature eliminate the current state mandate that requires financial officers to submit investment reports to their governing bodies.


Commission on State Mandates Test Claim, "School Site Councils and Brown Act Reform"

January 7, 2000 - We review and comment on this precedent-setting test claim which will be heard in February by the Commission on State Mandates.


Special Education Mandates Follow-Up Letter

October 27, 1999 - We outline our concerns with the staff supplemental analysis prepared for the Commission on State Mandates (COSM) October 28, 1999 meeting. This letter is a follow-up to our 10/13/99 analysis in which we reviewed legislative intent related to the special education funding system.

Local Government Staff

Ann Hollingshead
(916) 319-8305
State Budget and Federal Funding
Lourdes Morales
(916) 319-8320
Local Government, Housing, and Homelessness
Nick Schroeder
(916) 319-8314
Public Employment, CalPERS, and Elections
Angela Short
(916) 319-8309
Teachers' Retirement Policy/ Child Welfare/ Community Care Licensing
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics