Other Government Areas Publications

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Analysis of the 2008-09 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter

February 20, 2008 - Analysis of the 2008-09 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter


Under New Compacts, Special Distribution Fund Can Directly Affect the General Fund

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.


Legislative Considerations Regarding Changes to the Lottery

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.


Vacant Positions

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.


Correctional Officer Pay, Benefits, and Labor Relations

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.


Comments on the Administration's Cash Management Proposals

January 22, 2008 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, Denise Moreno Ducheny, Chair


California’s First Retiree Health Valuation: Questions and Answers

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.


Fish and Game Warden Staffing and Compensation

May 8, 2007 - Presented to Assembly and Senate Budget Committees


Retiree Health Benefits Presentation: Background and Policy Principles

April 26, 2007 - Presented to the Public Employees Post-Employment Benefits Commission


Legislative Oversight of State Employee Compensation

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.


Update on Real ID Act

February 21, 2007 - It is virtually impossible for California—or any other state—to implement the Real ID Act by the federal deadline of May 2008. Federal regulations for implementing the act are expected to be delayed until July or August of 2007 and there is no federal plan to fund the costly mandate. Nonetheless, the administration has indicated that it may request funding to implement Real ID as part of the spring revision process. Given the current lack of information regarding federal requirements and funding, as well as growing opposition to the act in other states, we recommend the state go slowly for now, and limit spending to planning activities.


Employee Compensation in 2007-08: Prison Pay Surges

February 21, 2007 - The Governor’s budget would increase state employee compensation costs by an estimated $1.2 billion in 2007-08. Item 9800 includes $972 million ($468 million General Fund) of this amount. The remainder is included in departmental budgets--principally the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The vast majority of the funds address costs related to current labor agreements, court orders, and arbitration decisions.


Reject Plan to Guarantee Teacher Benefit

February 21, 2007 - We recommend that the Legislature reject the administration’s proposed trailer bill language to (1) guarantee teachers’ purchasing power benefits through California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and (2) reduce General Fund costs by $75 million in 2007-08. There are risks in assuming that the change proposed in the budget package will generate near-term and ongoing budget savings, and we are concerned about the idea of the state guaranteeing another benefit through CalSTRS, which serves employees of local districts. We do suggest, however, that such a proposal in the context of a future comprehensive reform would warrant consideration by the Legislature.


Continued Help America Vote Act Implementation

February 21, 2007 - The administration proposes $10.7 million in spending in 2007-08 for the continued implementation of federal election reform. We recommend that the Secretary of State provide an update on source code review since no funds have been spent this year. In addition, we recommend a reduction in the administrative budget to reflect the reduced activities in the budget year.


Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter

February 21, 2007 - Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter

Other Government Areas Staff

Chas Alamo
(916) 319-8357
Personal Income Tax, Employment, and Labor Law
Ross Brown
(916) 319-8345
Property Taxes, Bonds, and the Economy
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
Jared Sippel
(916) 319-8335
Emergency Services and Business Regulation
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics