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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
September 26, 2006 - Presented to the California Health Care Foundation.
August 28, 2006 - We provide a fiscal analysis of the proposed MOU with Bargaining Unit 18 (psychiatric technicians). The administration's cost estimates are generally reasonable. We estimate that total compensation costs (including benefits) for Unit 18 rank and file would total about $435 million (up 3 percent from the prior fiscal year) in 2006-07 and $460 million (up 6 percent) in 2007-08 under the proposed MOU. Our analysis also discusses the bargaining unit's high vacancy rates. In part because of the vacancy rates, departments often mandate that employees work overtime because state institutions require extra hours of work in order to meet institutional licensing and certification requirements.
August 25, 2006 - We provide a fiscal analysis of the proposed MOU with Bargaining Unit 10, which includes state scientific personnel. The administration's estimate of the MOU's costs in 2006 is reasonable, but the estimate for 2007-08 likely overstates costs by around $2 million ($500,000 General Fund) due to a high estimate of inflation. Under the proposed MOU, we estimate that total compensation costs (including benefits) for Unit 10 rank and file would total about $235 million (up 8 percent) in 2006-07 and over $240 million (up 3 percent) in 2007-08. About two-thirds of the increased costs over the term of the agreement result from the proposed MOU. The remainder largely results from additional hiring authorized by the Legislature in the budget.
August 25, 2006 - We provide a fiscal analysis of the proposed MOU with Bargaining Unit 7, which includes certain state public safety personnel. The administration's estimates of costs are reasonable, but we forecast a lower inflation rate than DPA assumes in estimating costs of 2007-08 pay increases. In some agencies, costs to substantially reduce currently high vacancy rates could exceed DPA's estimates. Under the proposed MOU, we estimate that total compensation costs (including benefits) for Unit 7 rank and file would total about $515 million (up 11 percent from the prior fiscal year) in 2006-07 and $540 million (up 5 percent) in 2007-08. About 55 percent of the increased costs over the term of the agreement result from the proposed MOU. The remainder results from additional hiring authorized by the Legislature in the budget or state health contributions required under the current MOU.
August 18, 2006 - We provide a fiscal analysis of the proposed MOU with Bargaining Unit 5, which includes CHP officers. The administration's estimate of additional 2006-07 costs is reasonable. We estimate, however, that the annual fiscal impact after 2006-07 will be substantially more than shown in administration estimates because its projections assume (1) relatively low growth in the statutory pay formula for CHP officers, (2) no increases in state health premium costs after 2007-08, and (3) no change in required employer retirement contribution rates. By 2010-11, annual state costs could be $100 million higher than suggested in the administration estimate. In addition, various factors including pay and benefits for CHP and funding demands in the Department of Motor Vehicles are likely to put stress on the financial condition of the state Motor Vehicle Account, which funds Unit 5 personnel costs.
August 4, 2006 - We provide a fiscal analysis of proposed MOUs with Units 16 (physicians, dentists, and podiatrists) and 19 (health and social service professionals). The administration's estimate of costs resulting from the MOUs in 2006-07 is reasonable, but the estimate for 2007-08 is likely too high by $6 million due to a high estimate of inflation. We estimate that total compensation costs would rise to about $579 million in 2006-07 for a cost increase of over 10 percent. More than 40 percent of this increase results from factors other than the MOUs, such as court-ordered pay increases. In 2007-08, we estimate that costs would increase an additional 6 percent to about $610 million. In addition to these costs, we expect that future court orders related to correctional and mental health programs will increase pay for some members of these units by an unknown amount.
July 28, 2006 - We provide a fiscal analysis of proposed MOUs with Bargaining Units 12 (craft and maintenance workers) and 13 (stationary engineers). We believe that the Department of Personnel Administration's (DPA) estimate of costs resulting from the MOUs in 2006 is reasonable, but that the estimate for 2007-08 is likely too high by around $7 million due primarily to a high estimate of inflation. We estimate that total compensation costs (including benefits) for Unit 12 and 13 rank-and-file employees would rise to about $740 million in 2006-07 under the proposed MOUs for a cost increase of almost 7 percent. In 2007-08, we estimate that costs would increase to over $760 million, or more than 3 percent above 2006-07.