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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 3, 2017 - This analysis includes reviews of the following budget proposals for DGS in the Governor’s 2017-18 budget plan:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
May 24, 2016 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee
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.
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.
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.