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May 21, 2019 - Through the adoption of countercyclical fiscal policies, California is better able to navigate the business cycle within the constraints of its constitutional balanced budget requirement. The idea here is that in good times—when revenues are strong—the state spends somewhat below its capacity, sequestering the difference in reserves. Later, when the economy and tax receipts weaken, the state can draw upon its accumulated savings to fund a spending level above what revenues would otherwise support. Exercising spending restraint during good times promotes fiscal sustainability and dampens the need for austerity in subsequent recessions, thus, facilitating policy stability. The more robust California’s countercyclical fiscal policies are, the more the state can avoid boom-and-bust budgeting, which most policymakers view as anathema.
May 17, 2019 - This report presents our office’s independent assessment of the condition of the state General Fund budget through 2022-23 assuming the economy continues to grow and all of the Governor’s May Revision spending proposals are adopted.
May 16, 2019 - In January, the Governor proposed a $50 million one-time General Fund augmentation for existing mental health workforce programs that are administered by OSHPD. In the May Revision, the Governor proposes an additional $100 million in MHSA funding for mental health workforce. This post (1) provides background on the state’s mental health workforce, (2) gives an overview of existing programs and funding aimed at improving the state’s mental health workforce, (3) summarizes and assesses the Governor’s proposals, and (4) provides options for legislative consideration.
May 15, 2019 - The May Revision contains more than 100 proposed changes to education programs. The changes range from large new policy proposals, to major modifications of January proposals, to small adjustments relating to revised student attendance estimates. In this post, we focus on the first two categories of proposals. The post has six sections. The first section provides an overview of the proposals. The next four sections cover specific proposals relating to (1) early education, (2) K-14 education, (3) the universities, and (4) financial aid. The last section covers library-related proposals and a crosscutting proposal relating to education innovation.
May 15, 2019 - With the May Revision (and prior to the May Revision with the release of proposed implementing legislation), the administration has provided additional details on its January proposal to impose a state individual mandate and use penalty revenues from the mandate to fund health insurance subsidies. In this post, we summarize key updates to the Governor’s proposals and raise some issues for the Legislature’s consideration.
May 14, 2019 - The Governor’s May Revision includes Medi-Cal spending of $19.7 billion from the General Fund ($93.4 billion total funds) in 2018-19 and $23 billion from the General Fund ($102.2 billion total funds) in 2019-20. As will be described in this post, about half of the reduction in estimated spending in 2018-19 reflects a shift of costs in Medi-Cal to a different budget item, rather than a true reduction in estimated program costs. After accounting for this shift, the May Revision is about $350 million below January estimates across 2018-19 and 2019-20.
May 13, 2019 - Housing in California has long been more expensive than most of the rest of the country. In this post we assess the Governor’s 2019-20 May Revision proposals for housing and homelessness.
May 13, 2019 - In this post, we analyze the major changes related to Proposition 98 under the Governor’s May Revision. The first section provides background on the calculation of the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee and the Proposition 98 reserve. The next section describes the changes in the administration’s estimates of the minimum guarantee and Proposition 98 spending proposals. The last section provides our high-level assessment of these estimates and proposals.
May 13, 2019 - Governor’s May Revision Plan to Expend Cannabis Tax Revenues
May 13, 2019 - Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Education Finance
May 12, 2019 - Governor’s May Revision: Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment (ISUDT) Proposal
May 12, 2019 - In the May Revision, the Governor has proposed two new sales tax exemptions that would go into effect on January 1, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2021: one for menstrual products and another for children’s diapers. These exemptions would apply to the full amount of the state and local sales tax. The Governor’s proposal would require our office to submit reports evaluating these exemptions by January 1, 2021.
May 12, 2019 - The Governor’s revised budget package provides updates on the administration’s estimates of revenues (in part based on collections in April, the state’s most important revenue collection month). The Governor’s May Revision also revises some January budgetary proposals and introduces some new proposals. In this post, we provide a summary of the Governor’s revised budget, primarily focusing on the state’s General Fund—the budget’s main operating account.
Correction (5/14/19): Corrected sunset dates on certain Health and Human Services proposals.
May 12, 2019 - This post details our General Fund revenue outlook for 2017‑18 through 2022‑23. Our estimates of General Fund revenues and transfers for the “budget window”—2017‑18 through 2019‑20—are $774 million (0.2 percent) above the administration’s May 2019 revenue forecast.
May 12, 2019 - Our office just released a summary of our updated state fiscal outlook for the May Revision. Our fiscal outlook is premised on a set of economic assumptions. While our November fiscal outlook included multiple economic scenarios, this update for May focuses on only one economic scenario: continuation of moderate economic growth.