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Local Government Publications

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Handout

Implementation of the Housing Bond

March 28, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Housing and Community Development

Handout

Improving the Mandate Process

March 14, 2007 - Presented to School Finance Working Group

Report

Improving the Mandate Process

February 21, 2007 - The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local governments for certain state mandates. The process for determining the existence of state mandates and providing local government reimbursements, however, has significant shortcomings. The administration’s proposal to reform this mandate process provides a good starting point for discussion. In this analysis, we review the administration’s proposal and offer the Legislature a similar, but more extensive, proposal that includes (1) simplifying the process for local governments to file reimbursement claims by placing greater emphasis on unit cost methodologies, (2) allowing mandate payment methodologies to be developed through negotiations between local government and the Department of Finance, and (3) establishing an alternate process to provide early settlement of mandate disputes and bypass the commission entirely.

Report

California Tribal Casinos: Questions and Answers

February 1, 2007 - In 1987, a U.S. Supreme Court decision involving two California tribes set in motion a series of federal and state actions that dramatically expanded tribal casinos here and in other states. Now, California’s casino industry outranks all but Nevada’s in size. In this report, we answer key questions, including: How much do tribes pay to California governments? Are the administration’s near-term revenue estimates related to five proposed compacts with Southern California tribes realistic? What powers does the state have to ensure that tribes meet their obligations under the compacts?

Report

Allocating Local Sales Taxes: Issues and Options

January 24, 2007 - Recent agreements between cities and private businesses involving diversions of millions of dollars of local sales taxes have highlighted concerns raised over the years about the present “situs-based” system for allocating local sales taxes. This report looks at these concerns and discusses options for dealing with them, including expanding restrictions on financial incentives and restricting use of buying companies to divert taxes.

Other

What Is a Mandate: Learning Through Examples

January 16, 2007 - When the state mandates that a local government provide a new program or higher level of service, the California constitution often—but not always—requires the state to reimburse the local government. Determining which state requirements must be reimbursed—and which local governments must pay for on their own—is not always easy. To help explain these issues, we prepared two narrated presentations. What’s a Mandate—An Overview provides a broad overview of the reimbursement requirement. What’s a Mandate—Learning Through Examples explores different types of state laws and regulations and helps you walk through the steps to sort out whether or not they would be a state-reimbursable mandate.

Other

What Is a Mandate: An Overview

January 16, 2007 - When the state mandates that a local government provide a new program or higher level of service, the California constitution often—but not always—requires the state to reimburse the local government. Determining which state requirements must be reimbursed—and which local governments must pay for on their own—is not always easy. To help explain these issues, we prepared two narrated presentations. What’s a Mandate—An Overview provides a broad overview of the reimbursement requirement. What’s a Mandate—Learning Through Examples explores different types of state laws and regulations and helps you walk through the steps to sort out whether or not they would be a state-reimbursable mandate.

Presentation

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority: Assessing Governmental Accountability

November 17, 2006 - Presented to the Senate Local Government Committee.

Other

SANDAG: An Assessment of Its Role--Frequently Asked Questions

March 30, 2006 - A summary of frequently asked questions regarding our report: SANDAG: An Assessment of Its Role in the San Diego Region

Report

SANDAG: An Assessment of Its Role in the San Diego Region

March 30, 2006 - For over 20 years, San Diego region residents and local officials have debated whether their network of local and regional governmental agencies is well suited to addressing the region’s growing challenges. Some previous studies have found shortcomings in the region’s “governance system” and recommended changes, including modifications to the region’s council of governments (SANDAG). Chapter 743, Statutes of 2002 (SB 1703, Peace) and Chapter 508, Statutes of 2003 (AB 361, Kehoe), directed the Legislative Analyst's Office to study the San Diego region’s governance system and provide options for improving its accountability and effectiveness.
Frequently Asked Questions

Report

Budget Proposal Understates Mandate Costs

February 23, 2006 - The Governor’s Budget includes $242 million under the Commission on State Mandates’ budget item to: pay noneducation mandate claims in 2006-07, begin to retire the backlog of unpaid mandate claims, and provide a $50 million “set aside” to transform two mental health mandates into a categorical program. We find that the administration’s proposal does not provide sufficient resources to carry out its plan for 2006-07 and that the state likely will face a current-year mandate deficiency of about $140 million. We also review the way mandate information was provided in the administration's 2006-07 budget documents and make recommendations for improvement.

Report

Mental Health Mandates Continue to Pose Challenges

February 22, 2006 - State costs for reimbursing counties for two state-mandated programs to provide mental health services for school children have grown significantly in recent years. Moreover, serious weaknesses are evident in the system for delivering these services for children in special education programs. To help guide legislative policy-making in this area, we provide background information on these two mandates, assess the Governor’s budget and policy proposals relating to them, and outline the Legislature’s options for addressing these issues.

Handout

Using State General Obligation Bonds for Housing

January 25, 2006 - We review infrastructure issues related to housing. Presented to Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

Handout

State Oversight of Redevelopment

November 18, 2005 - Presented to the Senate Local Government Committee, Senate Transportation & Housing Committee, Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee, Assembly Local Government Committee, and Assembly Judiciary Committee

Report

Help America Vote Act Implementation Considerations

February 24, 2005 - The implementation of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) represents a significant opportunity for the Legislature to upgrade the state’s election systems and improve the administration of election laws. At a statewide level, the most pressing HAVA deadline is the requirement to have a federally compliant voter registration database operational by January 1, 2006. We offer a number of key considerations to assist the Legislature in implementing HAVA.

Local Government Staff

Ann Hollingshead
(916) 319-8305
State Budget and Federal Funding
 
Nick Schroeder
(916) 319-8314
Public Employment, CalPERS, Elections, Veterans Affairs
 
Angela Short
(916) 319-8309
Child Welfare, Child Support, Community Services and Development, Community Care Licensing, CalSTRS
 
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics