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The 2017-18 Budget: Update on K-12 Student Attendance

March 30, 2017 - In early March of 2017, the California Department of Education certified initial average daily attendance data for 2016-17. In this post, we describe how the state tracks attendance and discuss the implications for Proposition 98 and school funding.

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2017-18 Budget: Control Section 4.11—Position Transparency

March 24, 2017 - We recommend that the Legislature amend the proposed budget bill language for Control Section 4.11 to improve transparency and legislative oversight over the state’s workforce.

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A History of California’s Budget Reserves

March 24, 2017 - This post provides an overview and history of the state’s budget reserves. It also includes an interactive graphic comparing actual reserves to enacted reserves over time.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Local Update of Census Address Program Overview

March 23, 2017 - The Governor proposes $7 million in incentive grants for local governments to participate in the Census Bureau's Local Update Address Program in preparation for the 2020 Census. This post describes the upcoming U.S. Census and considerations for the Legislature in ensuring an accurate count.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Bus Driver Training Program

March 10, 2017 - Our office recently released a brief, The 2017-18 Budget: Governor’s Criminal Fine and Fee Proposals, which provides information about the various programs affected by the steady decline in criminal fine and fee revenue deposited into the State Penalty Fund since 2008-09. This post provides more detailed information about the Bus Driver Training Program, one of the affected programs.

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Residential Water Use Trends and Implications for Conservation Policy

March 8, 2017 - For the past two years, urban water agencies in California have been submitting monthly data on residential water use to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The monthly update covering December 2016 was recently published on the board’s website, providing a full year of data for 2016. This web post discusses trends in residential water use and what these data imply for policymakers in the coming year.

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The 2017-18 Budget: The Board of Equalization

March 7, 2017 - In this analysis, we discuss three aspects of the State Board of Equalization’s (BOE’s) budget: (1) resources redirected to board members; (2) the administration’s 2017-18 budget proposal for BOE’s major IT project; and (3) the administration’s 2017-18 budget proposals for BOE’s tobacco tax and licensing programs.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Funding Public Works Labor Enforcement

March 3, 2017 - The Governor’s budget proposes several actions related to public works labor enforcement, including steps to address a structural funding problem the Governor has identified. In this analysis, we discuss our findings and recommendations relative to this proposed actions.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Increased Staffing for Labor Standards Enforcement

March 3, 2017 - The Governor’s budget proposes $11 million in special funds and 82.5 positions, phased in over three years, for the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to pursue additional investigations of labor standards violations. In this analysis, we provide our assessment of the Governor’s proposal and raise several concerns that we believe should be addressed before any funding and staffing are approved.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Federal Receiver for Inmate Medical Services

March 3, 2017 - In this web post, we provide an overview of the Federal Receiver for Inmate Medical Services, who maintains direct control over inmate medical care provided in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) facilities, and the level of funding proposed for inmate medical services in the Governor’s 2017-18 budget. We also assess and make recommendations on four specific Receiver budget proposals: (1) an $8.9 million augmentation related to medication management, (2) a $3.1 million augmentation related suicide watch, (3) a $5.4 million augmentation related to health care appeals, and (4) a $2 million augmentation related to managing health care equipment.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Analysis of Special Education “Disconnect”

March 1, 2017 - Since 2013-14, the state has experienced a disconnect between the funding allocated for special education and the funding level specified by state law. In this web post, we explain the source of this disconnect and offer two options for rectifying it.

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The 2017-18 Budget: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

March 1, 2017 - In this web post, we provide an overview of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the level of funding proposed for the department in the Governor's 2017-18 budget. We also assess and make recommendations on various CDCR budget proposals, including a $12.6 million proposed augmentation related to changes in the adult inmate and parolee populations. In addition, we assess and provide recommendations on three proposals related to inmate mental health care: a $250 million shift of inpatient psychiatric programs from the Department of State Hospitals to CDCR, an $11.4 million proposal to convert 74 existing outpatient mental health beds into inpatient psychiatric program beds, and a $112 million proposal to construct 100 additional Mental Health Crisis Beds. Finally, we assess and provide recommendations on five other CDCR proposals: an $11.7 million proposal to install video surveillance cameras, the delayed activation of an infill facility, a proposal to reduce the department’s budget by $8.3 million to reflect housing unit conversions and the reallocation of health care access staff, a $299,000 proposal to modify a fence at a minimum support facility, and proposed budget trailer legislation related to California Prison Industry Authority employee retiree health benefits.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Governor’s Proposal to Strengthen Information Security

February 28, 2017 - The Governor's budget proposes $14 million total funds across various departments to strengthen information security. In this analysis, we discuss our findings and recommendations regarding the state's approach towards strengthening information security.

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The 2017-18 Budget: California Department of Food and Agriculture

February 28, 2017 - In this web post, we assess the Governor’s 2017-18 budget proposal to fortify the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s plant pest prevention system. The proposal includes 190.5 permanent positions in 2017-18. We recommend the Legislature approve 25.5 new permanent positions. However, we recommend approving only half of the 165 positions requested to be shifted from temporary status to permanent status.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Analysis of the Human Services Budget

February 28, 2017 -

In this set of budget posts, we provide an overview of the Governor's 2017-18 budget for human services programs. We also describe the budget proposal in detail for the In-Home Supportive Services, Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment, and CalWORKs programs.