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Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing

February 9, 2016 - In this follow up to California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences, we offer additional evidence that facilitating more private housing development in the state’s coastal urban communities would help make housing more affordable for low–income Californians.

Report

The 2016-17 Budget: The State's Drought Response

February 5, 2016 - Despite welcome storms early this winter, statewide drought conditions appear far from over. This report (1) describes the current drought and its impacts across the state, (2) summarizes the state's drought response appropriations and activities thus far, (3) assesses the Governor's drought-related budget proposals for 2016-17, and (4) recommends steps the Legislature can take to address drought both in the coming year and the future.

Report

Evaluation of the School District of Choice Program

January 27, 2016 - The District of Choice program is one of several statutory options allowing a K-12 student to transfer from one school district to another school district. The program will sunset on July 1, 2017, unless the Legislature decides to reauthorize it. This report, prepared at the request of the Legislature, assesses the program and offers our recommendations regarding reauthorization.

For the follow-up to this evaluation, published in February 2021, please click here.

Report

Cap-and-Trade Revenues: Strategies to Promote Legislative Priorities

January 21, 2016 - In this report, we describe and assess the relationship—from both a legal and policy perspective—between the cap–and–trade regulation and the auction revenues that are generated as a result of the program.

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Retirement Security and the Great Recession

January 12, 2016 - As part of the Supplemental Report of the 2015-16 Budget Package, the Legislature directed our office to issue a report evaluating defined contribution retirement benefits provided to public employees and the effect the Great Recession had on these benefits.

Report

Improving California’s Criminal Fine and Fee System

January 5, 2016 - Based on our review of the existing fine and fee system, we make various recommendations for improvement. First, we recommend that the Legislature reevaluate the overall structure of the fine and fee system to ensure the system is consistent with its goals. Second, we recommend increasing legislative control over the use of criminal fine and fee revenue to ensure that its uses are in line with legislative priorities by (1) requiring that most criminal fine and fee revenue be deposited in the state General Fund, (2) consolidating most fines and fees into a single, statewide charge, (3) evaluating the existing programs supported by fine and fee revenues, and (4) mitigating the impacts of potential changes to the fine and fee system on local governments.

Report

Review of Recent Changes to The Cal Grant C Program

June 22, 2015 - To ensure recent legislative changes are having the intended effects on the Cal Grant C program, the Legislature requested that our office prepare a report on the implementation of the new rules and their impacts on Cal Grant C recipients. While data suggest the Cal Grant C program may contribute to better jobs for those recipients who ultimately receive a certificate or degree, these successes are offset by lesser outcomes among the high proportion of students who do not complete their courses of study.

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Major Features of the Adopted Plan (Overview of Adopted Plan)

June 19, 2015 - We have provided information on the major provisions of the budget plan passed by the Legislature on Friday, June 19. (It does not reflect potential gubernatorial vetoes.) We will provide a more comprehensive summary of the budget plan in our annual California Spending Plan later this summer.

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Major Features of the Adopted Plan (Other Issues)

June 19, 2015 - We have provided information on the major provisions of the budget plan passed by the Legislature on Friday, June 19. (It does not reflect potential gubernatorial vetoes.) We will provide a more comprehensive summary of the budget plan in our annual California Spending Plan later this summer.

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Major Features of the Adopted Plan (Health and Human Services)

June 19, 2015 - We have provided information on the major provisions of the budget plan passed by the Legislature on Friday, June 19. (It does not reflect potential gubernatorial vetoes.) We will provide a more comprehensive summary of the budget plan in our annual California Spending Plan later this summer.

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Major Features of the Adopted Plan (Child Care and Preschool)

June 19, 2015 - We have provided information on the major provisions of the budget plan passed by the Legislature on Friday, June 19. (It does not reflect potential gubernatorial vetoes.) We will provide a more comprehensive summary of the budget plan in our annual California Spending Plan later this summer.

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Major Features of the Adopted Plan (Higher Education)

June 19, 2015 - We have provided information on the major provisions of the budget plan passed by the Legislature on Friday, June 19. (It does not reflect potential gubernatorial vetoes.) We will provide a more comprehensive summary of the budget plan in our annual California Spending Plan later this summer.

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Major Features of the Adopted Plan (Proposition 98)

June 19, 2015 - We have provided information on the major provisions of the budget plan passed by the Legislature on Friday, June 19. (It does not reflect potential gubernatorial vetoes.) We will provide a more comprehensive summary of the budget plan in our annual California Spending Plan later this summer.

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Analysis of Higher Education May Revision Proposals

May 18, 2015 - In this brief, we analyze the Governor’s higher education May Revision proposals. In the first section, we provide an overview of funding for higher education. In the next three sections, we describe and assess the Governor’s major proposals for the University of California (UC), the California State University (CSU), and the Awards for Innovation program, respectively. We discuss proposals for the California Community Colleges (CCC) in our companion Proposition 98 budget brief. The Appendix to the brief contains seven figures that have detailed higher education budget data.

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Analysis of the Proposition 98 May Revision Budget Package

May 18, 2015 - In this brief, we analyze the Governor’s Proposition 98 May Revision budget package for schools and the California Community Colleges (CCC). In the first section, we focus on the overall Proposition 98 funding level under the May Revision and the reasons it is higher than the Governor’s January budget. We then explain how our office’s higher revenue estimates would affect available Proposition 98 funding and recommend how the Legislature might budget accordingly. In the next two sections, we describe and assess the Governor’s major Proposition 98 May Revision proposals. The Appendix to the brief contains 16 figures that have detailed education budget data. Our February analysis contains additional information about Proposition 98 and calculations of the minimum guarantee.