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March 26, 2019 - In this report, we provide background on the current child support program. We then describe and assess the Governor’s 2019 20 proposal to create a new budgeting methodology that would increase funding for certain LCSAs by nearly $60 million General Fund. We recommend that the Legislature withhold action on the funding proposal until the administration submits the statutorily required report identifying potential state and local operational efficiencies.
March 26, 2019 - When facing budget problems in the past, the state has “deferred” payments from one fiscal year into the next, providing significant one-time budgetary savings. While the state has already addressed many of its outstanding deferrals, there are still three major categories of deferrals remaining. These are related to: (1) state employee payroll, (2) pension payments, and (3) Medi-Cal payments. The Governor proposes using $1.7 billion to undo the payroll and pension deferrals. We find this would improve the state’s fiscal position and moderately improve the state’s budgetary practices, however, this approach has shortcomings relative to alternatives. This post recommends an alternative approach to the Governor’s proposal.
March 25, 2019 - These materials were prepared for an informational hearing about housing challenges and their impact on the well-being of children by the Senate Select Committee on the Social Determinants of Children’s Well-Being.
March 22, 2019 - In this post, we describe the Governor’s 2019-20 budget proposal to create a new office within California’s Government Operations Agency—the Office of Digital Innovation. We then provide issues for legislative consideration, including key questions about the office’s implementation and legislative oversight of its activities.
March 22, 2019 - The Supplemental Report of the 2018-19 Budget Act directed our office to submit a report to the Legislature reviewing data on the reporting of child abuse or neglect incidents among children who are aged 14 to 17 compared to younger children. In this report, we (1) describe how the state’s Child Welfare Services (CWS) system processes child abuse and neglect reports, (2) discuss observed similarities and differences in reporting outcomes between older and younger youth based on available data, (3) specify limitations in our ability to come to definitive conclusions regarding the treatment of reports for older youth compared to younger youth in the CWS system based on available data, and (4) provide recommendations for the collection of additional data to better understand the potential reasons for differences in outcomes between older and younger youth accessing foster care and determine whether policy interventions are appropriate.