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July 1, 2021 - Chapter 837 of 2019 (SB 34, Wiener) established new tax exemptions for donations of medicinal cannabis. The law directs our office to submit an annual report containing data on three outcomes related to the exemptions: the number of medicinal cannabis patients served, the amount of medicinal cannabis products donated, and the amount of tax revenue lost. This report fulfills that statutory requirement for 2020.
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.
June 14, 2021 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Hon. Nancy Skinner, Chair
June 11, 2021 - The Governor’s May Revision includes several proposals related to child welfare, including some updates to proposals included in the January Governor’s budget as well as some new proposals. This post provides an overview of the major May Revision proposals for child welfare in addition to our initial analysis and comments on these proposals. We note that these comments reflect our understanding of the May Revision proposals as of June 1, 2021.
May 27, 2021 - Our office recently released its multiyear budget outlook based on our evaluation of the Governor’s May Revision budget proposal. An important element of this annual exercise is our independent estimate of the total cost of the Governor’s May Revision budget proposals for several years into the future. A key finding from our analysis this year is that the Governor’s ongoing spending proposals are probably too high relative to his administration’s revenue projections. This manifests in operating deficits that persist through the outlook horizon (2024‑25). Adopting a budget with this combination of assumptions is inadvisable in our view. One reason is that—given the state’s balanced-budget requirement—doing so requires assuming that the multiyear budget projections are wrong. To appreciate why this is problematic, it is useful to revisit some of the reasons for doing multiyear fiscal forecasting in the first place.
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 26, 2021 - This handout contains our preliminary comments on the Governor’s May Revision housing and homelessness proposals. We offer guidance for legislative action. The Legislature could consider withholding some decisions while establishing a housing and homelessness fund for future use. In 2021-22, a two-pronged approach could be considered: Continue proven programs and pilot new approaches.
May 24, 2021 - The administration’s 2021-22 May Revision proposes up to $7 billion (federal and state funds) over two fiscal years to fund state broadband infrastructure projects and programs. In this post, we provide our preliminary comments on this proposal, reflecting our understanding of the proposal as of Sunday, May 23, and provide options for legislative consideration.
May 24, 2021 - In this post, we provide our preliminary comments on the Governor’s 2021-22 May Revision behavioral health proposals. We first provide an overview of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative proposal. We then provide some overarching comments on both (1) the initiative overall and (2) specific proposals within the initiative. We then provide an overview of the May Revision updates to the Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure proposal, our comments on the adjustments made to this proposal, and remaining outstanding questions we have on this proposal.
May 24, 2021 - The revised 2021-22 Department of Developmental Services budget at May Revision includes $6.6 billion General Fund ($10.7 billion total funds), a 1.6 percent increase in General Fund spending from the budget proposed in January. This increase is driven in large part by a number of new policy proposals totaling approximately $80 million General Fund. In this post, we provide comments on one of the key policy proposals.
May 23, 2021 - This report presents our office’s independent assessment of the condition of the state General Fund budget through 2024-25 assuming the economy continues to grow. While the state faces a historic surplus, a spending level beyond what is proposed by the Governor would require the Legislature to identify proposals to reject. Moreover, our analysis finds that the level of ongoing spending proposed by the Governor is only supportable with a revenue forecast that is more optimistic than the administration’s current estimates.
May 21, 2021 - In this post, we provide our preliminary comments on the Governor’s 2021‑22 May Revision proposal for Medi‑Cal. We first provide an overview of the proposal, noting the major changes made relative to the Governor’s January budget, as well as changes made to estimated 2020‑21 spending relative to the January estimates. We then describe, and provide our comments on, the Governor’s proposal to augment the January proposal for the California Advancing and Innovating Medi‑Cal (CalAIM) package. We follow with descriptions of, and comments on, the Governor’s modified telehealth policy proposal, the proposal to extend full‑scope Medi‑Cal coverage to older undocumented immigrants, and the proposal to use American Rescue Plan Act funding to provide financial relief for designated public hospitals.
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.
May 18, 2021 - This handout lists the Governor's workforce proposals, provides a high-level assessment of those proposals, and offers guidance were the Legislature to want to increase spending in this area.
May 18, 2021 - This handout analyzes the overall architecture of the Governor's May Revision plan for school funding, including major spending proposals and underlying estimates of the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee.