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March 4, 2016 - The Governor’s 2016-17 budget proposes $3.8 billion from the General Fund for Department of Developmental Services (DDS) programs—a 7.5 percent increase over 2015-16 estimated expenditures. This report focuses on the Governor's major policy-driven spending augmentations in the community services program. This report also summarizes legislation enacted as part of the recent special session that provides significant additional funding to the community services program and considers the Governor’s January proposals in this context.
February 26, 2016 - In this report, we provide background on three key areas of higher education in California: enrollment, tuition and financial aid, and institutional performance. We then analyze specific budget proposals for the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges, Hastings College of the Law, and California Student Aid Commission, making corresponding recommendations for the Legislature's consideration.
February 24, 2016 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s child care and preschool proposals. The report includes (1) a high-level overview of the proposed child care and preschool budget, and (2) an assessment of the Governor's proposals to restructure California's child care and preschool programs. At the end of the report, we provide a summary of our recommendations.
February 24, 2016 - In this report, we analyze the administration’s proposal for meeting Proposition 2 debt payment requirements in 2016-17 and beyond. We find the administration’s proposal focuses on paying down low-interest debts that benefit schools and potentially benefit special fund fee payers. We suggest an alternative approach that could save taxpayers billions of dollars more over the long run. It would also allow the state to begin addressing more of its retirement liabilities sooner. Our approach focuses on high-interest debts that the state is otherwise not addressing. Specifically, we suggest the Legislature prioritize: (1) the state’s pension system for judges and (2) retiree health benefits for state and California State University employees.
February 23, 2016 - The Governor’s budget provides a total of $17 billion from various fund sources for all departments and programs under the California State Transportation Agency in 2016–17. This is an increase of $664 million, or 4 percent, over the estimated current–year expenditures. In this report, we assess the Governor’s budget proposals in the transportation area and summarize our major findings and recommendations.
February 22, 2016 - In this report, we provide an analysis of the Governor's budget proposals for state criminal justice departments and programs, including for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the judicial branch, the Department of Justice, and various local public safety programs. We review the most significant proposals in these areas and offer corresponding recommendations for the Legislature's consideration.
February 19, 2016 - In this publication, we summarize the administration’s estimate for constitutionally required reserve deposits in this year’s budget process. We then analyze the administration’s strategy for building additional reserves. While we concur with the Governor’s overall approach of building a robust level of total reserves, we find that his proposal to deposit optional amounts into the state’s rainy day fund would limit legislative control.
February 18, 2016 - In this report, we cover the Governor's estimates of the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee, his overall Proposition 98 spending package, and his specific Proposition 98 proposals. We also provide in-depth analysis of the Governor's proposals for the Local Control Funding Formula, preschool, education mandates, special education, county offices of education, and the High Speed Network. In addition, we include an analysis of teacher workforce trends and we highlight several issues for the Legislature to consider when exploring potentially new workforce policies.
February 16, 2016 - The Governor’s budget for 2016–17 proposes a total of $9 billion in expenditures from various sources for programs administered by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.
February 12, 2016 - We find the Governor’s deferred maintenance proposal addresses an important state need. However, we also find that it raises several issues for legislative consideration. Specifically, we find that it lacks critical details, fails to address the underlying causes of the state’s deferred maintenance backlog, and proposes a process for identifying deferred maintenance projects for funding that is inadequate.
February 12, 2016 - In this report, we (1) provide an overview of the major effects of Proposition 47 on the state, (2) recommend a framework for satisfying the measure’s requirement that the state savings it creates be deposited into a new special fund, and (3) describe and assess the administration’s approach for meeting the measure’s fiscal requirements, including the allocation of the monies deposited in the new fund.
February 11, 2016 - We review the Governor's 2016-17 budget proposals for (1) the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) program, (2) In-Home Supportive Services, (3) California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and (4) Foster Care. Further, we provide the Legislature with key issues to consider when evaluating the Governor's budget proposals.
February 11, 2016 - In this report, we provide an analysis of the administration’s caseload projections, as well as a discussion of the impacts of the ACA on the ability to project caseload. We also provide an assessment of several General Fund cost pressures on the horizon in Medi–Cal, including the sunset of the hospital QAF.
February 10, 2016 - In November 2015, the Regents of the University of California (UC) approved a proposal to enter into a public–private partnership to double the physical size of the Merced campus. Under the plan, enrollment on the Merced campus would grow from 6,000 to 10,000 full–time equivalent (FTE) students by 2020. This brief is intended to assist the Legislature in reviewing this proposal. In it, we provide background on the Merced campus and the state process for approving capital outlay projects at UC, describe key aspects of the proposed project, and raise four key issues for the Legislature to consider.
February 9, 2016 - The Governor’s budget for 2016–17 proposes one–time funding of $1.5 billion from the General Fund to be deposited into a new State Office Infrastructure Fund. Under the proposal, monies in this fund would be continuously appropriated for the replacement and renovation of state office buildings in the Sacramento area. We find the Governor’s focus on state office buildings makes sense given the age and condition of the facilities prioritized by the Governor. However, we identify several issues that merit legislative consideration.