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March 20, 2012 - Presented to Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee and Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee
March 7, 2012 - Presented to Joint Oversight Hearing on Land Use and Community Development, Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and Assembly Local Government Committee
February 22, 2012 - Presented to: Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and Senate Governance and Finance Committee, Hons. Mark DeSaulnier and Lois Wolk, Chairs
January 27, 2012 - As part of legislation authorizing seven local governments to participate in a pilot program regarding electronic filing of Statements of Economic Interests forms, the Legislature requested our office to evaluate the pilot program. This report presents our findings.
November 8, 2011 - The Governor’s 12-point pension and retiree health plan would result in bold changes for California’s public employee retirement programs. His proposals would shift more of the financial risk for pensions—now borne largely by public employers—to employees and retirees and would, in so doing, substantially ameliorate a key area of long-term financial risk for California governments. Despite the proposal’s strengths, it leaves many questions unanswered, such as how his hybrid plan and retirement age proposals would work and how the state should cope with large unfunded liabilities already affecting the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the University of California Retirement Plan, and the health benefit program for state and California State University retirees. The Governor’s proposal to increase many current public employees’ pension contributions also raises significant legal and practical issues.
October 24, 2011 - Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Trust Fund Program
October 13, 2011 - Since 2008, the cost of providing unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in many states has exceeded available resources. As a result, by 2010 the UI funds in 32 states were insolvent, forcing those states to obtain loans from the federal government to continue payment of UI benefits. In this report, we conduct a comparative analysis of the UI programs in all 50 states and Washington D.C. to provide context for the Legislature in considering potential solutions to California's UI insolvency. Our analysis finds that California’s UI program pays comparatively lower weekly benefits, but pays these weekly benefits for a longer duration and to a relatively larger caseload. As a result, California has comparatively higher total program costs. To the extent the Legislature desires, California’s comparatively high cost structure could be mitigated by changing its UI eligibility and benefits duration policies. However, regardless of UI policies, California’s UI program is likely to have a higher UI cost structure than the average U.S. state as a result of its comparatively worse labor market.
August 31, 2011 - This webcast and accompanying handout summarize the major provisions of the collective bargaining agreements that the Legislature ratified in 2010-11. During the first 12 months of these agreements, most employees receive lower total compensation and the state experiences net employee compensation savings. In future years, employees will receive higher total compensation and the state will experience increased costs. UPDATE 9/1/11 -- Handout updated to include reference to a 2009 state law eliminating two state holidays.
August 19, 2011 - As part of the 2011-12 budget plan, the Legislature enacted a major shift—or “realignment”—of state program responsibilities and revenues to local governments. In total, the realignment plan provides $6.3 billion to local governments to fund various criminal justice, mental health, and social services programs in 2011-12, and ongoing funds for these programs annually thereafter. We recommend the Legislature address a few pressing implementation issues before this legislative session ends. We also identify a series of more extensive issues that we recommend the Legislature address in early 2012, such as developing local funding formulas with an eye towards the long term, promoting local accountability, and simplifying the plan’s extensive network of accounts and subaccounts.
August 8, 2011 -
LAO State Finance Director Jason Sisney appears on the news interview program The Maddy Report, where he is questioned about public employee pensions. His interview is contained in the first two segments of this five segment program.
View on YouTube.
July 7, 2011 - Beginning in 2008, the Unemployment Insurance (UI) funds of many states, including California’s, were under stress and soon became insolvent. Many states sought loans from the federal government. As of June 2011, California’s outstanding federal loan totaled over $10 billion. Three federal proposals have recently been introduced to address the insolvency issue. All three would improve the solvency of California’s UI fund and two would likely eliminate California’s UI fund deficit by 2016. Regardless of whether Congress acts, we recommend that the Legislature ensure implementation of a long–term solvency plan by 2014. If federal reforms are enacted, it is likely that no additional action by the Legislature will be necessary. However, if no federal reforms are enacted, it will be critically important for the Legislature to adopt its own long–term solvency plan. We recommend that the Legislature consider an approach which includes both increased employer contributions and decreased benefits for UI claimants.
June 7, 2011 - This document is a partially updated list of nearly 300 state boards and commissions. This list is based on a search for state boards and commissions that our office completed in 2009. In updating this list, we removed any entities that we know have been abolished since 2009. We post this list with the caveat that Legislative Counsel and the administration have not reviewed it. Without their review, we do not know whether this list includes all state boards and commissions currently in existence. It may be possible, for example, that some boards and commissions have been eliminated or created since 2009 without our knowledge.
April 8, 2011 - We reviewed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 6 (Correctional Peace Officers) and Unit 13 (Stationary Engineers). If adopted, the MOUs would result in increased state costs in the current year, savings in 2011-12, and costs thereafter. Overall, the MOUs would reduce state Bargaining Unit 6 and 13 employee compensation costs in 2011-12 by about 3.6 percent.
April 1, 2011 - We reviewed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 9 (Professional Engineers in California Government) and Unit 10 (California Association of Professional Scientists). If adopted, the MOUs would result in increased state costs in the current year, savings in 2011-12 and 2012-13, and net cost thereafter. Overall, the MOUs would reduce state Bargaining Unit 9 and 10 employee compensation costs in 2011-12 by about 6 percent.
March 25, 2011 - We reviewed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 7 (California Statewide Law Enforcement Association). If adopted, the MOU would result in increased state costs in the current year, savings in 2011-12, and net cost thereafter. Overall, the MOU would reduce state Bargaining Unit 7 employee compensation costs in 2011-12 by 2.8 percent.