To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.
October 13, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Select Committee on Economic Development in the Inland Empire
September 7, 2021 - We reviewed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 8 (Firefighters). State Bargaining Unit 8’s current members are represented by Cal Fire Local 2881. This review is pursuant to Section 19829.5 of the Government Code.
June 25, 2021 - This analysis reviews 20 labor agreements received by the Legislature between June 9 and June 15, 2021. The analysis summarizes and provides comments on the agreements. In addition, the analysis provides overarching comments across the 20 agreements and offers recommendations to the Legislature.
May 26, 2021 - The Governor’s 2021‑22 May Revision budget proposes $36 million General Fund to pay the first, partial payment on the state’s outstanding federal Unemployment Insurance (UI) loan and proposes to direct $1.1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funds to pay down a portion of the outstanding loan. In this post, we (1) provide an overview of the state’s UI system financing, (2) highlight how the pandemic affected the UI system, (3) look ahead to upcoming costs to employers and the state to repay the federal UI loan, and (4) assess the Governor’s proposed $1.1 billion pre-payment.
May 18, 2021 - This post provides an overview of state and federal stimulus payments to date, describes the Governor's May Revision proposal for a second round of Golden State Stimulus payments, and presents two alternatives that go further toward filling in the gaps in federal pandemic relief.
March 10, 2021 - This report provides an overview of the 2014 California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) funding plan, and analyzes the various challenges and complexities of the plan that have come to light that may impede CalSTRS’ ability to successfully eliminate the system’s unfunded actuarial obligation (UAO) by 2046. We offer several short- and longer-term recommendations for the Legislature to consider to help strengthen CalSTRS’ ability to eliminate current and future UAO, achieve long-term savings, and improve legislative oversight.
February 10, 2021 - The Governor’s budget for 2021-22 proposes to consolidate state workforce programs under a new Department of Better Jobs and Higher Wages. The new department would include portions of the Employment Development Department, the California Workforce Development Board, and the Department of Industrial Relations. In our view, the functions of the new department appear similar to the functions of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, raising questions about why a new department is needed to integrate these programs. Furthermore, reorganizing a portion of the Employment Development Department during the pandemic poses potentially serious risks to the state's efforts to eliminate the growing backlog of unemployment insurance claims that have not been distributed to workers.
February 10, 2021 - The 2021-22 Governor’s Budget proposes $555 million General Fund to make the first interest payment on federal loans the state received to pay unemployment insurance (UI) benefits after the UI fund became insolvent during the pandemic. Our office’s estimate of the upcoming interest payment is much lower—about $260 million. This lower estimate reflects (1) more plausible, up-to-date economic projections and (2) recent federal action to waive a portion of accrued interest for 2021. We recommend the Legislature adopt this lower placeholder amount. In addition, we recommend the Legislature take advantage of a provision of federal law that allows states to defer 75 percent of their UI loan interest payments during economic downturns. If the state chooses to partially defer its interest payment, we estimate the 2021-22 UI loan interest payment would total roughly $65 million.
January 26, 2021 - Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration
November 17, 2020 - Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment
October 12, 2020 - The 2020-21 budget package includes actions related to the state’s two largest pension systems—CalPERS and CalSTRS—that result in immediate savings for the state and school employers, while forgoing significant longer-term savings. To achieve these immediate savings, the 2020-21 budget package: 1) repurposes nearly $5 billion of supplemental payments made as part of the 2019-20 budget package on behalf of the state and school employers, and 2) suspends the CalSTRS board’s authority to increase the state’s contribution rate in 20202-21.
October 7, 2020 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration Hon. Jim Cooper, Chair
October 5, 2020 - The 2020-21 Budget Act includes several new initiatives and policy changes related to labor and employment programs. This post provides a high-level overview of the state’s major labor and employment programs and highlights the major labor issues in the budget package, including provisions related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
September 9, 2020 - The budget assumes that employee compensation is reduced by up to 10 percent in 2020-21. This analysis provides a historical record of all the labor agreements between the state and its employees to reduce state costs in 2020-21 and—in most cases—2021-22. In addition, this analysis looks forward and provides comments and recommendations to help the Legislature think through future decisions to reduce employee compensation should the budget problem persist beyond 2021-22.
August 24, 2020 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration Hon. Jim Cooper, Chair