Other Government Areas Publications

To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.



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


California Tribal Casinos: Questions and Answers

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?


Legislative Analyst's Office Staff Guide, 2006

December 4, 2006 - Staff and their assignments within the Legislative Analyst's Office as of December 2006.


Overview of Proposition 89

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


Retiree Health Care: A Growing Cost for Government

September 26, 2006 - Presented to the California Health Care Foundation.


MOU Fiscal Analysis: Bargaining Unit 18 (Psychiatric Technicians)

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.


MOU Fiscal Analysis: Bargaining Unit 10 (Professional Scientific)

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.

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, 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
Bidusha Mudbhari
(916) 319-8363
Corporation Tax and Economic Development
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics