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Budget and Policy Post

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The 2024-25 Budget: Future of Public Health Budget Solution

May 21, 2024 - The proposed elimination to the Future of Public Health funding very likely would adversely impact the ability of the California Department of Public Health and local health jurisdictions to maintain the effort to improve public health made since the pandemic. The Legislature might consider whether there is a middle ground between fully eliminating and fully maintaining the Future of Public Health funding. We note that any reduction to the size of the public health budget solution would however require a budget solution of an equivalent amount elsewhere in the budget.


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The 2024-25 Budget: Proposed Reductions to State Operations

May 21, 2024 - The Governor’s May Revision proposes to (1) administratively establish a new ongoing unallocated 7.95 percent reduction to state operation expenditures and (2) make the 2024-25 unallocated reduction to state operation expenditures related to vacant positions ongoing (it was approved as “one time” as part of the Legislature’s early action package). Between the two proposals, the administration proposes that the Legislature delegate responsibility to the Governor to determine how to permanently reduce state operations by roughly 10 percent. As we discuss in this post, we think there is merit to the Department of Finance finding operational efficiencies; however, (1) any resulting reductions would be made based on the Governor's priorities and not necessarily the Legislature's priorities and (2) we think there is a high risk that the level of savings assumed from these two unallocated reductions will not fully materialize in 2024-25. To the extent that savings do not materialize, these proposals would create a larger future budget challenge.


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The 2024-25 Budget: State Preschool

April 16, 2024 - This post analyzes 2024-25 Governor’s budget proposal related to State Preschool.


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Evaluation of a Tax Exemption for Zero-Emission Buses

April 15, 2024 - Published in accordance with Chapter 353 of 2022 (AB 2622, Mullin), which directs our office to review the effectiveness of a partial sales tax exemption for zero-emission buses.


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The 2024-25 Budget: State Employee Compensation

March 21, 2024 - In this post, we analyze the Governor's proposals to (1) use vacancy rates to identify one-time unallocated spending reductions across state departments through a budget exercise, (2) eliminate the telework stipend established under current labor agreements, and (3) defer June 2025 payroll by one day to reduce state payroll costs in 2024-25 by one month's payroll.


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The 2024-25 Budget: Department of Social Services Immigration and Equity Programs

March 15, 2024 - In this post, we provide an overview of the Governor's 2024-25 budget proposals for certain immigration and equity programs at the Department of Social Services.


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The 2024-25 Budget: California State Library

March 13, 2024 - This post analyzes the Governor’s January budget proposals for the State Library. The post first provides background on the State Library, then provides an update on the implementation of recent local assistance initiatives. Next, it discusses the Governor’s budget proposals and concludes by providing associated recommendations.


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California’s Low-Wage Workers and Minimum Wage

March 11, 2024 - The first part of this report describes low-wage workers' occupations, genders, races/ethnicities, birthplaces, household structures, educational attainment, and weekly hours. The second part focuses on low-wage workers' ages. The third part compares the statewide minimum wage to various benchmarks to assess whether it is high, low, or somewhere in between.


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The 2024-25 Budget: Overview of the Federal Fiscal Responsibility Act's Impacts on CalWORKs

March 5, 2024 - In this post, we provide background on the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, information on the upcoming federal changes and how they are likely to impact the CalWORKs program, and comments and questions for the Legislature to consider as it determines if and how to respond to the federal changes.


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The 2024-25 Budget: Department of Cannabis Control—Legal and Administrative Hearing Costs

March 4, 2024 - In this post, we assess and make recommendations on the Governor’s budget proposal to provide resources to the Department of Cannabis Control to fund the costs of legal services from the Department of Justice and administrative hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings within the Department of General Services.


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The 2024-25 Budget: In-Home Supportive Services

February 29, 2024 - In this post, we provide some background on the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, an overview of the Governor's 2024-25 budget proposals and assumptions for IHSS, and offer relevant issues for legislative consideration.


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The 2024-25 Budget: Child Support

February 27, 2024 - This post provides a general overview of the Governor’s budget for the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS), then turns to focus on a few key DCSS budget areas, providing background, implementation updates, and some comments for the Legislature to consider. Specifically, the budget areas we focus on in this post are: (1) the passthrough of child support collections to former California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids families, (2) foster care referrals and enforcement, (3) local child support agency funding methodology, and (4) proposed budget language related to overpayments disbursed from the Child Support Trust Fund.


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The 2024-25 Budget: Department of Health Care Access and Information

February 27, 2024 - This post provides an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget for the Department of Health Care Access and Information, analyzes proposals around health care workforce programs, and provides an implementation update to two recently enacted hospital relief programs.


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The 2024-25 Budget: Child Welfare

February 26, 2024 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s budget proposals relating to child welfare and foster care programs, which include a number of budget solutions. In addition, the post provides comments and questions to help the Legislature weigh in regarding the administration’s proposal for the statutorily required new foster care rates structure.


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The 2024-25 Budget: Judicial Branch

February 23, 2024 - This post provides an overview of the Governor’s 2024-25 proposed funding levels for the judicial branch and our assessments and recommendations on a proposal to provide $19 million ongoing General Fund to support self-help centers.