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


Other Government Areas

To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.


Evaluating the Sale-Leaseback Proposal: Should the State Sell Its Office Buildings?

April 27, 2010 - Recent legislation authorized the Department of General Services (DGS) to sell and then lease back 11 state-owned office properties. The sale-leaseback is designed to free up the state’s equity in the buildings to provide one-time revenue for addressing the state’s current budgetary shortfall. We estimate that the sale of buildings would result in one-time revenue to the state of between $600 million and $1.4 billion, but that annual leasing costs would eventually exceed ownership costs by approximately $200 million. Over the lives of these buildings, we estimate the transaction would cost the state between $600 million and $1.5 billion. The Legislature will need to weigh how these costs compare to other alternatives for addressing the state’s budget shortfall. In our view, taking on long-term obligations—like the lease payments on these buildings—in exchange for one-time revenue to pay for current services is bad budgeting practice as it simply shifts costs to future years. Therefore, we encourage the Legislature to strongly consider other budget alternatives.

(Short video introducing this report)


Education and California's Budget

February 19, 2010 - A presentation on California's budget, economic outlook, and education funding. Presented at the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Chief Business Officials Conference in Sacramento on February 19, 2010.


Authorization of Online Poker in California

February 9, 2010 - Presented to: Senate Governmental Organization Committee Hon. Roderick Wright, Chair


Assessing the Governor's Employment Training Initiative

February 3, 2010 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Hon. Denise Moreno Ducheny, Chair


Unemployment Insurance Automation Projects

February 3, 2010 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Insurance Hon. Jose Solorio, Chair


The 2010-11 Budget: The Governor's Employee Compensation Proposals

January 27, 2010 - This report discusses some key issues facing the Legislature in the employee compensation area of the budget. In 2009–10, the state has achieved significant savings due to the Governor’s furlough program, which is being challenged in many court cases. For 2010–11, the Governor proposes various measures to reduce state personnel costs, including shifting pension contribution costs from the state to employees, unallocated reductions in personnel budgets of departments, and an across–the–board salary reduction for employees. These proposals would result in $2.5 billion in savings ($1.4 billion General Fund). We believe that employee compensation reductions are necessary due to the magnitude of the budget problem. Nevertheless, some of the administration’s proposals would face legal challenges or otherwise may be difficult to implement. Consequently, we recommend that the Legislature focus efforts to reduce compensation costs on pay reduction options. Special session.


Informational Hearing on Debt Service

December 14, 2009 - Presented to the Assembly Budget Committee on December 14, 2009


Public Employee Pension and Retiree Health Costs in California

November 12, 2009 - Presented to the Council of State Governments, La Quinta, California


Workers' Compensation: Recent Decisions Likely to Increase Benefits and Employer Costs

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.


Accountability and Oversight of the California Lottery

September 23, 2009 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review


Pending Proposal Concerning Highway Patrol Officer Retiree Health Benefits Funding

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.


Budget Flexibility and Restrictions

August 18, 2009 - Presented to joint hearing of Senate Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Reform and Senate Select Committee on Constitutional Reform


LAO Recommendations on Agency Elimination

June 12, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee


Administration's Cash Management Proposals

June 11, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee


An Overview of Government Reorganizations

June 3, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee