Other Government Areas Publications

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The 2018-19 Budget: California Military Department

February 6, 2018 - The Governor’s budget proposes $3.6 million in one-time General Fund in 2018‑19 and $3.3 million in ongoing General Fund to provide California Military Department (CMD) support to two public charter schools, the California Military Institute (CMI) and Porterville Military Institute (PMI). We recommend rejecting the proposed General Fund appropriation, but approving position and associated reimbursement authority for CMD. This should enable CMD to provide support to CMI and PMI if these schools choose to allocate some of their Proposition 98 funds to supplement their staffing with CMD personnel.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

February 1, 2018 - The Governor proposes $207,000 from the Alcohol Beverage Control Fund in 2018-19, rising to $265,000 in 2022-23 and annually thereafter to fund additional rental costs associated with ABC occupying privately owned leased space rather than its current space in the state-owned Santa Ana State Building. We recommend rejecting this proposal because it is not needed given that the Legislature has decided it does not want to proceed with the administration’s plan to move ABC and other departments into the proposed privately owned leased space.

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The 2018-19 Budget: California Achieving a Better Life Experience Board

January 31, 2018 - The Governor’s budget proposes $900,000 in 2018-19 from a General Fund loan to support the continued implementation of CalABLE. While the proposal appears reasonable and we recommend its approval, we also recommend that the Legislature require CalABLE to provide a report that includes an evaluation of possible alternatives for reaching long-term financial self-sufficiency.

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The 2018-19 Budget: State Treasurer’s Office

January 31, 2018 - The Governor proposes $450,000 in General Fund in 2018-19 and $400,000 annually thereafter to fund costs associated with providing IT support to State Treasurer's Office (STO) and the various boards, commissions, and authorities (BCA). We recommend that the Legislature approve the amount of the requested budget augmentation, but fund it from the various funds that support the STO and the BCAs rather than solely from the General Fund.

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State Archives: Limited Space for a Growing Collection

January 8, 2018 - The State Archives preserves and stores state government records of historical significance. Its collection of both physical and digital records grows annually. Under current practices, the State Archives will exhaust its capacity to store physical records within the next 15 years. To address these capacity concerns, we present two alternatives for legislative consideration. First, the Legislature could increase the Archives’ physical capacity while keeping archival practices similar to the status quo. This alternative would require the state to begin a planning process within the next few years. Second, the Legislature could direct the State Archives to rely principally on digital records in the future. This alternative could limit or delay the need for a new building, but would involve changes in state processes and new information technology systems.

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Evaluation of the Statewide Project Management Office

December 7, 2017 - In this report, we provide background regarding the objectives and operations of the Project Management Office (PMO), detail our findings in evaluating the PMO, introduce two significant recent developments and their impacts on the PMO, and make associated recommendations on how the Legislature should proceed to better align the office with the original legislative intent.

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State Fiscal Effects of California’s Minimum Wage

November 15, 2017 - This post discusses the fiscal effects of California's minimum wage on the General Fund.

This is part of a collection of material for The 2018-19 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook. See a complete list of this year's fiscal outlook material on our fiscal outlook budget page.

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The Property Tax Inheritance Exclusion

October 9, 2017 - When a property changes hands the taxes paid for the property often increase substantially. This is not true for most inherited property. Three decades ago, the Legislature and voters decided inherited property should not be reassessed when transferred. This has been a consequential decision. Many have benefited from the tax savings this policy affords. Nonetheless, the inheritance exclusion raises some policy concerns. Because of this, the Legislature may want to revisit the inheritance exclusion. Depending on the Legislature’s goals, the existing policy may be crafted too broadly and options are available to better target its benefits.

A short video accompanies this report.

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July 2017 Update: Los Angeles’ Bid for the Olympics and Paralympics

July 6, 2017 - Los Angeles' prospects for hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games are strong, according to widespread reports. The California Legislature has provided a $250 million backup guarantee for shortfalls of the 2024 Games, but Los Angeles' bid for 2024 is fairly low risk and it is hoped that no state guarantee funds will ever have to be paid out. As the possible due date for the Governor's execution of a guarantee contract with Games organizers approaches, our office continues to recommend a strong legislative oversight role to help Games organizers deliver a low-cost and successful event. This update focuses on (1) yesterday's report from a key Olympic commission evaluating the 2024 bids of Los Angeles and Paris and (2) the widely reported possibility that Los Angeles or Paris will be offered the chance to host the Games in 2028 instead of 2024.

Hearing Handout

State Administration and General Government Agenda, Page 15 Item 1111-003-0702—BreEZe System and Organizational Change Management LAO Compromise Provisional Language

June 8, 2017 - Presented to: Budget Conference Committee

Hearing Handout

Options for Reforming the State Board of Equalization

June 7, 2017 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 6 On Budget Process, Oversight, and Program Evaluation

Hearing Handout

Item 7900 CalPERS Supplemental Payment, Issue 34

June 2, 2017 - Presented to: Budget Conference Committee

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The 2017-18 Budget: Governor’s CalPERS Borrowing Proposal

May 16, 2017 -

As part of his May Revision, the Governor proposes the state borrow $6 billion from the Pooled Money Investment Account (PMIA) to make a one-time payment to reduce state pension liabilities at CalPERS. The Governor proposes that the state and General Fund and special funds repay this loan with interest over a period of about eight years.

As we discuss in this brief, we think the plan would probably save the state money over the long run, although uncertainties remain about the likelihood and magnitude of this benefit. However, the administration is asking the Legislature to approve a large commitment of public resources with insufficient consideration. The administration has provided few of the legal or quantitative analyses that the Legislature should expect when receiving a request of this magnitude and complexity. Moreover, the administration has introduced this proposal as part of the May Revision—with only weeks before the constitutional deadline for the Legislature to approve the budget. We doubt all of the issues we raise in the brief can be reviewed by the June 15 deadline. However, there is no reason that the Legislature must make a decision before June 15. We recommend the Legislature wait to act on this plan until after the administration has submitted more analysis. At that point, the Legislature could decide whether or not to approve the proposal.

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The 2017-18 Budget: The Governor's May Revision Cannabis-Related Proposals

May 16, 2017 -

In this analysis, we discuss the Governor’s cannabis-related May Revision proposals for seven state departments. Based on our initial review of these proposals, we provide (1) overarching comments and (2) recommendations on each department’s specific proposal.

LAO Bottom Line. The Governor’s May Revision proposes 201 positions and $43.2 million in 2017‑18 from various funds to conduct cannabis regulation-related activities. These resources are provided across seven state departments. Based on our initial review, we recommend making key policy choices regarding how the cannabis industry will be regulated before finalizing budget decisions, as well as limiting the amount of out-year funding provided to departments given the high level of uncertainty regarding future workloads. Accordingly, we also provide recommendations on each department’s specific proposal.

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CalSTRS Funding: An Update

May 5, 2017 - The CalSTRS board recently acted to change assumptions used to estimate its unfunded liabilities, including the key assumption about future investment returns--sometimes referred to as the "discount rate." These and other recent developments have eroded CalSTRS' funding situation. This brief details these changes and describes how they will affect the state, school and community college districts, and teachers

Other Government Areas Staff

Chas Alamo
(916) 319-8357
Employment, Labor Law, and Property Taxes
 
Ann Hollingshead
(916) 319-8305
State Budget and Federal Funding
 
Lourdes Morales
(916) 319-8320
Local Government
 
Jessica Peters
(916) 319-8363
Emergency Services and Business Regulation
 
Nick Schroeder
(916) 319-8314
Public Employment, CalPERS, and Elections
 
Brian Weatherford
(916) 319-8337
Corporation Tax and Insurance
 
Angela Short
(916) 319-8309
Teachers' Retirement Policy/ Child Welfare/ Community Care Licensing
 
Justin Garosi
(916) 319-8359
Personal Income Tax
 
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics