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Other Government Areas Publications

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2017-18 Budget: Control Section 4.11—Position Transparency

March 24, 2017 - We recommend that the Legislature amend the proposed budget bill language for Control Section 4.11 to improve transparency and legislative oversight over the state’s workforce.

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Update on Los Angeles’ Bid for the 2024 Olympics

March 23, 2017 - This report updates our November 2016 report on Los Angeles' bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Los Angeles' bid greatly reduces financial risks that have plagued prior hosts of the Games, as we discussed in November. Since then, organizers have released new plans for the Games' Opening and Closing Ceremonies, an updated budget, and a study of potential economic benefits for Los Angeles. This report recaps those developments and others. We discuss the federal government's significant role in a possible Los Angeles Games and the potential role of state legislative oversight in helping keep public financial risks low, if Los Angeles is chosen over Paris to host the Games.

Correction 5/25/2017: Changed date for new L.A. football stadium's first Super Bowl to 2022, following a decision on this matter by NFL team owners.

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The 2017-18 Budget: California Department of Food and Agriculture

February 28, 2017 - In this web post, we assess the Governor’s 2017-18 budget proposal to fortify the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s plant pest prevention system. The proposal includes 190.5 permanent positions in 2017-18. We recommend the Legislature approve 25.5 new permanent positions. However, we recommend approving only half of the 165 positions requested to be shifted from temporary status to permanent status.

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The 2017-18 Budget: California State Payroll System

February 28, 2017 - The State Controller’s Office (SCO) has recently renewed its effort to replace the state’s payroll system. In this year’s budget, the Governor proposes $3 million to begin an analysis of proposed alternatives for replacing the system. It makes sense for the state to assess the potential problems, both in terms of functionality and stability, with the state’s payroll system and to explore solutions to these problems. The appropriate selection of a project alternative will be critical to the success of the future payroll project. As such, we recommend the Legislature require the SCO to present its full findings from the alternatives analysis before it is granted additional funding for subsequent analyses. This would provide the Legislature with a clear opportunity to provide meaningful input and weigh in with its own priorities for the payroll system before a solution is procured.

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The 2017-18 Budget: The State Controller’s Office Unclaimed Property Program

February 24, 2017 - In this analysis, we discuss our finding and recommendations regarding the Governor's proposal for the State Controller's Office Unclaimed Property program.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Department of Consumer Affairs

February 17, 2017 - In this analysis, we discuss our findings and recommendations regarding three proposals for the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) included in the Governor's 2017-18 budget: (1) BreEZe Information Technology System, (2) DCA Organizational Change Management, and (3) Registered Nursing Military Education and Experience. We discuss our findings and recommendations regarding DCA's two cannabis-related proposals in our recent report, The 2017-18 Budget: The Governor's Cannabis Proposals.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Office Of Emergency Services (OES)

February 16, 2017 - In this analysis, we discuss our findings and recommendations regarding two issues for the Office of Emergency Services included in the Governor’s 2017 18 budget: (1) drought and the California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) and (2) Public Assistance Program.

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The 2017-18 Budget: The Governor's Cannabis Proposals

February 14, 2017 - Voters legalized the use of medical cannabis in California in 1996, and the Legislature approved the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) in 2015. In November of 2016, voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized and created a regulatory framework for the nonmedical use of cannabis. In the coming year, the Legislature will face key choices about whether it wants to make statutory changes to bring the regulatory frameworks of MCRSA and Proposition 64 into greater alignment. Additionally, the Legislature will need to determine the staff and other resources to provide to the various agencies charged with regulating and taxing the cannabis industry. We recommend the Legislature (1) work with the administration to enact legislation to align the regulation of medical and nonmedical cannabis to the maximum extent possible, (2) make its decisions on the extent to which it wants to align the regulatory structures for medical and nonmedical cannabis before making its decisions on the Governor’s requested funding and related positions, and (3) take a more incremental approach to budgeting for departments that are requesting resources in 2017-18.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Military Department

February 10, 2017 - In this analysis, we discuss our findings and recommendations regarding two proposals for the Military Department included in the Governor’s 2017-18 budget: (1) the Sacramento Consolidated Headquarters Complex and (2) Advance Plans and Studies.

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The 2017-18 Budget: California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission

February 3, 2017 - In this web post, we recommend that the Legislature reject the Governor’s proposal to increase the CDIAC’s expenditure authority by $200,000. We find that there is insufficient justification for the higher budget expenditure authority.

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The 2017-18 Budget: State Treasurer’s Office

February 3, 2017 - The Governor proposes $799,000 from various special funds on an ongoing basis and five permanent positions to continue to support STO’s website and data sharing efforts. We recommend approving funding for these positions on a two-year limited-term rather than on a permanent basis.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Department of General Services

February 3, 2017 - This analysis includes reviews of the following budget proposals for DGS in the Governor’s 2017-18 budget plan:

  • State Project Infrastructure Funding in 2017-18
  • Sacramento Region: State Printing Plant Demolition Preliminary Plans
  • Zero Emission Vehicle Project
  • Model Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance (AB 2515)
  • Building Standards Commission, Exterior Elevated Elements (SB 465)

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Improving California's Regulatory Analysis

February 3, 2017 - Chapter 496 of 2011 (SB 617, Calderon) made significant changes to the way California analyzes and reviews major regulations under the state's Administrative Procedures Act (APA). These changes were intended to promote regulations that achieve the Legislature's policy goals in a more cost‑effective manner. In this report, we provide a brief description of California's regulatory process, the potential value of regulatory analysis, and the recent changes made by SB 617. Although there have been some improvements in recent years, we identify some significant limitations that still remain. We provide recommendations that are aimed at addressing these limitations by ensuring that the potential effects of regulations are thoroughly analyzed and regulators are implementing the Legislature's policy direction in the most cost-effective manner.

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Understanding the Veterans Services Landscape in California

January 17, 2017 - In this report, we describe the demographics of California’s veterans and provide a high-level overview of veterans services provided in the state’s veterans homes and services provided in the community. We then review and provide our findings regarding the federally and state-funded services available to veterans related to four service areas of legislative interest: long-term care, transitional housing, mental and behavioral health, and employment assistance. Finally, we highlight issues for legislative consideration and offer options to improve service delivery within the veterans homes.

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Key Differences Between Recent Medical Cannabis Laws and Proposition 64: A Preliminary Review

December 20, 2016 - The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) provides a statutory framework for regulating medical cannabis and Proposition 64 of 2016 provides a statutory framework for regulating nonmedical cannabis. In this web post, we provide a preliminary review of the key differences between MCRSA and Proposition 64. We also describe some overarching issues for Legislative consideration.

(Updated 1/9/17)

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
 
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
 
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics