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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.
June 8, 2017 - Presented to: Budget Conference Committee
June 7, 2017 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 6 On Budget Process, Oversight, and Program Evaluation
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.
May 4, 2017 - Presented to the following Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittees: Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy, and Transportation Health and Human Services State Administration and General Government
April 25, 2017 - In a Spring Finance Letter, the Governor proposes using remaining funds from a 2009 settlement agreement to provide the Secretary of State a three-year funding increase of $463,000 per year and three positions to support the agency’s activities related to the implementation of SB 450. We recommend that the Legislature (1) use this proposal and the implementation of SB 450 to reconsider the state’s role in paying for elections administration and (2) consider the appropriate level, duration, and source of funding to support the Secretary of State’s SB 450 activities.
April 24, 2017 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration
April 20, 2017 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government
March 30, 2017 - Despite reaping regular benefits from county administration of elections, the state only sporadically provides funding to counties for election activities. The state has a clear interest in secure, timely, and uniform elections. We recommend the Legislature develop a new financial relationship between the state and counties to (1) direct statewide elections policy and (2) provide a reasonable and reliable level of financial support that reflects the benefits to the state of county elections administration. The pending implementation of a new voting model via 2016 legislation, SB 450, provides an opportunity for the Legislature to consider how to structure such a financial relationship to ensure consistency across counties as well as address other elections issues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.