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Legislative Analyst's Office Staff Guide, 2004

December 3, 2004 - Staff and their assignments within the Legislative Analyst's Office as of November 2004. (This document is 5 MB in size.)

Report

An Initial Assessment of the California Performance Review

August 27, 2004 - On August 3, 2004, the California Performance Review (CPR) released its report on reforming California's state government, with the aim of making it more efficient and more responsive to its citizens. This report provides our initial comments on the CPR report. Specifically, we: (1) provide an overview of its reorganization framework and other individual recommendations, (2) discuss the savings it assumes from its major proposals, and (3) raise key issues and considerations relating to CPR's various proposals.

Report

Evaluating Future Economic Development Program Proposals

February 18, 2004 - We recommend that the Legislature require a well-researched problem, a demonstrable net benefit, and built-in evaluations when considering any future proposals for state economic development programs. This would allow the Legislature to be more certain of the effectiveness of proposed programs.

Report

Contracting Out for State Services

February 18, 2004 - The administration proposes a constitutional amendment to expand the circumstances in which the state can contract with private entities. We provide guidelines the Legislature may want to consider as it evaluates the administration's proposal. We refer to a report published in our 1996 Perspectives and Issues in which we found that carefully managed privatization can, under the right circumstances, provide specialized expertise, save money, and/or result in improved service delivery. Poorly managed privatization, or privatization under the wrong circumstances, however, can lose money and result in poor service delivery.

Report

Alternative Retirement Benefit Programs

February 18, 2004 - To reduce budget costs, the administration proposes to issue bonds to finance almost $1 billion in scheduled retirement contributions. A Superior Court has thus far prevented the state from issuing such bonds. Regardless of its legality, incurring decades worth of debt to avoid an annual operating expense is poor fiscal policy. We recommend the Legislature reject the administration’s proposal. The administration also proposes having current employees contribute more of their salaries to retirement. The idea is worth pursuing in collective bargaining, but the Legislature should be aware of what this provision might cost the state in return. For new employees, the administration proposes rolling back retirement benefits to those in place in 1999. We recommend that the Legislature also consider alternatives such as Tier 2 and defined contribution plans for all new employees. These alternatives would result in more state savings and benefits compared to the administration’s proposal.

Report

Position Management Fails To Provide Appropriate Oversight

February 18, 2004 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture's management of 500 permanent positions needs significant revision. We recommend that the Legislature adopt trailer bill language to specify that the department's continuous appropriations do not exempt it from the normal position approval process. We also recommend that the department establish permanent positions with the State Controller's Office and submit budget requests through the Department of Finance and the Legislature for all of its future staffing needs. Finally, we recommend budget bill language requiring the department to report on these permanent blanket positions by December 2004.

Report

Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter

February 18, 2004 - Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter

Report

Vacant Positions

February 19, 2003 - Recently, the Legislature has taken various steps, through budget control sections, to reduce the number of vacant positions in state government. We found that the Department of Finance (DOF) has provided most of the information requested. We recommend that DOF provide updated information.

Report

State Retirement Contributions

February 19, 2003 - To reduce budget costs, the administration proposes to finance up to $2.5 billion in scheduled retirement contributions to the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) and the State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS). We recommend rejecting this proposal because incurring decades worth of debt to avoid an annual operating expense is poor fiscal policy.

Report

Analysis of the 2003-04 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter

February 19, 2003 - Analysis of the 2003-04 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter

Report

Providing Health Insurance for State Employees and Retirees: The $2 Billion Question

November 6, 2002 - The Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) is taking a number of steps to help control the sharply rising cost of the state health insurance program for employees and retirees. We recommend that the legislature provide ongoing oversight of this program and highlight two Legislative options for limiting costs: developing lower-cost HMO options and changing the way state contributions are determined.

Other

Legislative Analyst's Office Staff Guide, 2002

November 1, 2002 - Staff and their assignments within the Legislative Analyst's Office as of November 2002.

Report

Peace Officer Procedural Bill of Rights (POBOR) Mandate

February 20, 2002 - We recommend the Legislature delete $50 million proposed to reimburse local governments for the POBOR mandate in the budget year. We recommend the Legislature refer the matter to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) for review and recommendation on possible revisions to the mandate's parameters and guidelines.

Report

State Retirement Contributions

February 20, 2002 - We recommend that the retirement proposals be rejected because they are very costly. These costs would total over $13 billion, be paid over many years, and tie up future state revenues. In present value terms, the proposal is equivalent to getting about $2 billion worth of fiscal flexibility at a cost of well over $4 billion.

Report

Analysis of the 2002-03 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter

February 20, 2002 - Analysis of the 2002-03 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
 
Brian Weatherford
(916) 319-8337
Corporation Tax and Insurance
 
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics