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MOU Fiscal Analysis: Bargaining Unit 8 (Firefighters)

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.

Handout

Wildfire Prevention and Forest Resiliency

August 31, 2021 - This handout provides background information on recent wildfire resilience-related budget actions. It also provides an update on the administration’s progress thus far towards committing the funding provided in the April 2021 Wildfire and Forest Resilience Early Action Package to specific projects and activities.

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The 2021-22 California Spending Plan: The State Appropriations Limit

August 30, 2021 - This post describes the legislative and administrative decisions regarding the State Appropriations Limit (SAL) in the 2021‑22 budget process.

Report

The 2021-22 Budget: Overview of the Spending Plan (Preliminary Version)

August 24, 2021 - Each year, our office publishes the California Spending Plan to summarize the annual state budget. This publication provides an overview of the 2021-22 Budget Act, then highlights major features of the budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

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Annual Report on Tax Exemptions for Medicinal Cannabis

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.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Labor Agreements Ending Personal Leave Program 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.

Hearing Handout

Overview of Legislature's Budget Package

June 14, 2021 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Hon. Nancy Skinner, Chair

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The 2021-22 May Revision—Child Welfare Budget Proposals

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.

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Despite Fiscal Forecasting Uncertainties, Multiyear Budget Planning Essential

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.

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Repaying the State’s Federal Unemployment Insurance Loan

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.

Handout

The 2021-22 May Revision—Overview and Analysis of Housing and Homelessness Proposals

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.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Preliminary Comments on the Governor’s May Revision Proposal for Broadband Infrastructure

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.

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The 2021-22 Budget: LAO Preliminary Comments on the Governor’s Major May Revision Behavioral Health Proposals

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.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Department of Developmental Services (DDS) May Revision Budget 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.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Multiyear Budget Outlook

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.