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March 18, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation Hon. Philip Y. Ting, Chair
March 10, 2021 - This report provides an overview of the 2014 California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) funding plan, and analyzes the various challenges and complexities of the plan that have come to light that may impede CalSTRS’ ability to successfully eliminate the system’s unfunded actuarial obligation (UAO) by 2046. We offer several short- and longer-term recommendations for the Legislature to consider to help strengthen CalSTRS’ ability to eliminate current and future UAO, achieve long-term savings, and improve legislative oversight.
March 2, 2021 - In this publication, we provide an overview of the Governor’s emergency spending authorities. We assess the Governor’s 2021-22 January budget proposals to extend, modify, and expand emergency spending authorities to continue to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Finally, we recommend ways to improve the oversight of emergency spending for COVID-19 as well as future emergencies.
February 23, 2021 - The Governor's proposed 2021-22 appropriation for the Board of Equalization (BOE) is $31.8 million, 30 percent higher than the amount spent in 2019-20. Due to vacancies, BOE spent just $24.5 million of its $31.3 million appropriation in 2019-20. This post discusses issues for the Legislature to consider as it decides how much to appropriate for BOE in the 2021-22 budget.
February 22, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor's 2021-22 January budget proposals to transfer responsibility for most cannabis regulatory responsibilities from the Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Public Health, and California Department of Food and Agriculture to a new department—the Department of Cannabis Control.
February 18, 2021 - This publication assesses the Governor's 2021-22 January budget proposals for the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
February 17, 2021 - This publication discusses the Governor's 2021-22 budget proposal to create a tiered pesticide mill assessment, as well as the proposal for increased spending on regulatory activities and integrated pest management programs administered by the Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Department of Food and Agriculture.
February 17, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 January budget proposal related to a debt collector licensing and regulation program created by Chapter 163 of 2020 (SB 908,Wieckowski) within the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.
February 10, 2021 - The Governor’s budget for 2021-22 proposes to consolidate state workforce programs under a new Department of Better Jobs and Higher Wages. The new department would include portions of the Employment Development Department, the California Workforce Development Board, and the Department of Industrial Relations. In our view, the functions of the new department appear similar to the functions of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, raising questions about why a new department is needed to integrate these programs. Furthermore, reorganizing a portion of the Employment Development Department during the pandemic poses potentially serious risks to the state's efforts to eliminate the growing backlog of unemployment insurance claims that have not been distributed to workers.
February 10, 2021 - The 2021-22 Governor’s Budget proposes $555 million General Fund to make the first interest payment on federal loans the state received to pay unemployment insurance (UI) benefits after the UI fund became insolvent during the pandemic. Our office’s estimate of the upcoming interest payment is much lower—about $260 million. This lower estimate reflects (1) more plausible, up-to-date economic projections and (2) recent federal action to waive a portion of accrued interest for 2021. We recommend the Legislature adopt this lower placeholder amount. In addition, we recommend the Legislature take advantage of a provision of federal law that allows states to defer 75 percent of their UI loan interest payments during economic downturns. If the state chooses to partially defer its interest payment, we estimate the 2021-22 UI loan interest payment would total roughly $65 million.
February 4, 2021 - The intent of Chapter 469 of 2015 (SB 29, Beall) was to improve peace officers’ abilities to identify and effectively respond to individuals with mental health, intellectual disability, or substance use disorders. The Commission on State Mandates has found that requiring field training officers (FTOs) to complete at least eight hours of training on this topic constitutes a reimbursable mandate. Given the state’s interest in promoting trust in law enforcement and in minimizing unnecessary harm to members of the public, we recommend funding this mandate to ensure FTOs receive at least this amount of training.
February 1, 2021 - In this post, we provide our analysis of the Governor's proposal to provide the California Arts Council $15 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis to support grants for artwork designed to create public awareness of the methods for stopping the spread of COVID-19.
January 26, 2021 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 On State Administration and General Government (Hon. Anna M. Caballero, Chair)
January 26, 2021 - Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration
January 22, 2021 - This handout assesses the Governor's proposal to expand a recently created small business grants program by $575 million.