Chas Alamo
(916) 319-8357
Personal Income Tax, Employment, and Labor Law
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
Alex Bentz
(916) 319-8312
Property Taxes, Bonds, and the Economy
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics


Other Government Areas

To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.


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.


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)


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.


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.


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)


Los Angeles' Bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics

November 10, 2016 - Los Angeles, Budapest, and Paris are competing to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The International Olympic Committee will choose the winning city in September 2017. Both the state and the City of Los Angeles are already planning in case the Games return to Southern California. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a bill to provide state support for Los Angeles' bid. Under that bill, the Governor is allowed to negotiate a contract with Games organizers for the state to provide no more than $250 million of back-up financial support if the 2024 Los Angeles Olympics end with a financial shortfall. The current Los Angeles bid greatly reduces the risk of shortfalls by relying on existing facilities, thereby minimizing the risk of large cost overruns that have plagued many prior Olympic hosts. We advise the Legislature, through its oversight process, to help Games organizers keep costs and financial risks as low as possible. This report notes issues that the state may need to consider as planning for the Games proceeds.

Also see our March 23, 2017 report Update on Los Angeles’ Bid for the 2024 Olympics.


Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.

June 8, 2016 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations


Office of Emergency Services: Emergency Operations and Critical Infrastructure Support Proposal

May 24, 2016 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee


Considering Changes to Streamline Local Housing Approvals

May 17, 2016 - The Governor’s May Revision proposes changes to state law to streamline local government approval of certain housing. This proposal has the potential to be an important step toward addressing California’s housing shortage. We believe it warrants serious consideration from the Legislature. We also suggest the Legislature consider expanding eligibility for streamlining to facilitate more new housing, as well as making other changes to strengthen the proposal’s effectiveness.


Governor’s May Revision: Budget Trailer Bill Changes to the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act

May 16, 2016 - This document summarizes the major changes to the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) included in the administration’s May Revision budget trailer legislation. It also raises several issues for the Legislature to consider as it reviews the MMRSA budget trailer legislation.


Challenges in Reviewing Recently Released $400 Million Deferred Maintenance Project List

May 11, 2016 - On April 29, the administration released its initial draft list of $400 million in deferred maintenance projects proposed for funding as part of the Governor’s 2016-17 budget. In this post, we summarize the draft list of projects. Also, given that there are only a few weeks remaining before the constitutionally-required June 15th deadline for the Legislature to adopt a state budget for 2016-17, we suggest that the Legislature may want to prioritize its review of the administration’s draft list. Furthermore, in the future, we recommend that the administration provide the Legislature with (1) information about its long-term plan for addressing the state’s deferred maintenance backlog and (2) more detailed information on proposed projects earlier in the budget process.


State and County Roles in Administering Elections in California

April 15, 2016 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government and Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments


Budget Reserves and Debt Repayments Under Proposition 2

March 30, 2016 - Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government


The 2016-17 Budget: Precision Medicine Research Funding

March 18, 2016 - Precision medicine is a developing approach in the health sector that takes into account an individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle for disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The 2016-17 Governor’s Budget proposes to make a one-time appropriation of $10 million from the state General Fund to OPR to fund precision medicine research. We find that the Governor’s proposal lacks key details and a clear justification. In the absence of this information, we recommend the Legislature reject the Governor’s proposal.


The 2016-17 Budget: The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

March 1, 2016 - In this post, we provide recommendations on the following Governor’s Office of Emergency Services budget proposals for 2016-17: (1) Deferred Maintenance and (2) Emergency Operations and Critical Infrastructure Support.