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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 1, 2007 - In 1987, a U.S. Supreme Court decision involving two California tribes set in motion a series of federal and state actions that dramatically expanded tribal casinos here and in other states. Now, California’s casino industry outranks all but Nevada’s in size. In this report, we answer key questions, including: How much do tribes pay to California governments? Are the administration’s near-term revenue estimates related to five proposed compacts with Southern California tribes realistic? What powers does the state have to ensure that tribes meet their obligations under the compacts?
December 4, 2006 - Staff and their assignments within the Legislative Analyst's Office as of December 2006.
September 27, 2006 - Presented to Joint Hearing of Assembly Elections and Redistricting, Senate Elections, Redistricting and Constitutional Amendments, Assembly Revenue and Taxation, and Senate Revenue and Taxation Committees