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November 12, 2009 - Presented to the Council of State Governments, La Quinta, California
October 16, 2009 - Recent decisions by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) concluded that the current system used to measure permanent disability (PD) in workers' compensation claims can be challenged. This analysis discusses how the WCAB’s decisions could lead to (1) changes in PD ratings, (2) increased incentive for litigation, and (3) decreased uniformity in determining PD. Ultimately, the likely result would be increased benefits for workers and higher costs for businesses and governments.
September 23, 2009 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review
September 2, 2009 - On August 27, 2009, the administration presented to the Legislature a proposed addendum to the existing state employee labor agreement with Bargaining Unit 5 (California Highway Patrol [CHP] Officers). The proposal would amend the Public Employees’ Medical and Hospital Care Act and increase state budgetary costs in some future years. This letter provides our office’s analysis of the proposal, similar to the analysis we routinely provide the JLBC with proposed labor agreements.
August 18, 2009 - Presented to joint hearing of Senate Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Reform and Senate Select Committee on Constitutional Reform
June 12, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee
June 11, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee
June 3, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee
May 22, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee
May 12, 2009 - Author Greg Jolivette summarizes the findings of our recent report, Department of Real Estate: Opportunities to Improve Consumer Protection, in a three and one-half minute video.
May 12, 2009 - In this report, we identify a number of deficiencies in the Department of Real Estate’s Licensing and Education Program and their Enforcement and Recovery Program. Our recommendations would tighten existing educational requirements, increase licensee accountability for violations of the real estate law, improve department accountability for program outcomes, and expand consumer access to—as well as oversight of—the Recovery Account. (Short video summary.)
March 6, 2009 - We review the administration's proposed labor agreements with SEIU Local 1000, the largest state employee union. The administration estimates that the state's net savings under the proposed agreements would be $337 million ($156 million General Fund) between now and June 2010--compared to costs negotiated in prior Local 1000 MOUs. We also discuss two alternate ways to view the costs of the proposed agreements--compared to costs under the Governor's previous two-day-per-month furlough plan and compared to costs included in the February budget package. The proposed agreements represent a cost increase for the state under both of these alternate methods.
January 30, 2009 - In this report, we identify issues and present recommendations related to the General Government portion of the budget. These include our belief that employee compensation reductions proposed by the Governor are necessary due to the magnitude of the budget problem. Nevertheless, we observe that the administration’s plans—especially savings from the furlough-will be difficult to achieve. We also note that due to the sagging economy and falling energy prices in recent months, our forecast for inflation is much lower than that used in the Governor's budget plan. Therefore we recommend the Legislature reject the price increase and direct departments to absorb any increases in operating expenses.
January 14, 2009 - Deputy Legislative Analyst Michael Cohen and Principal Fiscal and Policy Analyst Jason Dickerson the LAO report, California’s Cash Flow Crisis—the second in the LAO’s 2009-10 Budget Analysis Series.