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May 19, 2008 - The state faces a remaining budget shortfall of $15 billion, after accounting for the $7 billion in solutions adopted as part of the special session. We have updated our LAO alternative budget, which remains balanced through our forecast period, to reflect the state’s worsening fiscal situation. Our plan includes a more responsible lottery securitization—resulting in a General Fund benefit of $5.6 billion over two years—with a dramatically reduced risk to education’s lottery funding. Finally, we offer some much simpler approaches to increasing the size of the state’s reserve in good fiscal times.
April 24, 2008 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee
April 22, 2008 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration
April 7, 2008 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration
March 11, 2008 - Presented to Senate Governmental Organization Committee
February 20, 2008 - We describe how the passage of five 2007 Indian gambling compacts will affect the state’s General Fund and the Special Distribution Fund. We recommend that the Legislature take action to improve the state’s General Fund condition.
February 20, 2008 - The Governor has proposed leasing the California Lottery to a private concessionaire to improve its sales and generate funds for public purposes. The administration’s estimate that such a transaction could generate $37 billion is unrealistic. We recommend that the Legislature continue to explore methods to improve the performance of the Lottery.
February 20, 2008 - About 14 percent of state employee positions are vacant. In this piece, we discuss the factors that cause high vacancy levels. We recommend repealing an ineffective state law that purports to abolish vacant positions. In its place, we offer the Legislature some options to hold departments accountable for high vacancy rates.
February 7, 2008 - The administration proposes a 5 percent raise for correctional officers and legislation to allow it to impose a labor settlement on the officers’ union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA). We find that the officers’ compensation levels are sufficient to allow the prisons to meet personnel needs at the present time, but we generally agree with other administration proposals to increase management control in prisons. We note that the dysfunctional relationship between the administration and CCPOA makes it more difficult to address the many issues facing the state’s prison and personnel management systems.
January 22, 2008 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, Denise Moreno Ducheny, Chair
May 9, 2007 - The Legislature required the Controller to contract with actuaries for California's first valuation of unfunded state retiree health liabilities. On May 7, 2007, the Controller reported that the state's estimated unfunded liabilities total $48 billion. This report answers key questions concerning the valuation and identifies actions the Legislature could take to address the state's liabilities.
May 8, 2007 - Presented to Assembly and Senate Budget Committees
April 26, 2007 - Presented to the Public Employees Post-Employment Benefits Commission
February 21, 2007 - We focus on the process for setting compensation and recommend the Legislature improve the state’s employee compensation policies. Our recommendations are geared toward the Legislature focusing state employee compensation expenditures within the context of a balanced budget. Among our recommendations are for the Legislature to (1) limit the authority of arbitrators to order large payments under their interpretation of future labor agreements and (2) end the use of automatic pay raise formulas tied to actions by other governmental employers.