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The 2017-18 Budget: California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission

February 3, 2017 - In this web post, we recommend that the Legislature reject the Governor’s proposal to increase the CDIAC’s expenditure authority by $200,000. We find that there is insufficient justification for the higher budget expenditure authority.

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The 2017-18 Budget: State Treasurer’s Office

February 3, 2017 - The Governor proposes $799,000 from various special funds on an ongoing basis and five permanent positions to continue to support STO’s website and data sharing efforts. We recommend approving funding for these positions on a two-year limited-term rather than on a permanent basis.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Department of General Services

February 3, 2017 - This analysis includes reviews of the following budget proposals for DGS in the Governor’s 2017-18 budget plan:

  • State Project Infrastructure Funding in 2017-18
  • Sacramento Region: State Printing Plant Demolition Preliminary Plans
  • Zero Emission Vehicle Project
  • Model Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance (AB 2515)
  • Building Standards Commission, Exterior Elevated Elements (SB 465)

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The 2017-18 Budget: Department of Justice

January 31, 2017 - In this web post, we provide an overview of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the level of funding proposed for the department in the Governor’s 2017-18 budget. We also assess and make recommendations on two specific DOJ budget proposals: (1) a one-time $5 million unallocated General Fund reduction and (2) a $45 million funding increase related to Proposition 56 revenues.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Overview of the Governor's Criminal Justice Budget

January 27, 2017 - The primary goal of California’s criminal justice system is to provide public safety by deterring and preventing crime, punishing individuals who commit crime, and reintegrating criminals back into the community. The state’s major criminal justice programs include the court system, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Governor’s budget for 2017-18 proposes total expenditures of $16.1 billion for judicial and criminal justice programs. In this post, we describe recent trends in state spending on criminal justice and provide an overview of the major changes in the Governor’s proposed budget for criminal justice programs in 2017-18.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Trial Court Security Funding for Counties

January 25, 2017 - The Governor’s budget for 2017-18 proposes a $280,000 General Fund augmentation to counties for increased trial court security levels resulting from a separate proposal to reallocate four existing vacant trial court judgeships to trial courts with greatest judicial need as of January 1, 2018. We recommend the Legislature reject the Governor’s proposal due to a lack of justification that the proposed funding is needed.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Overview of the Governor’s Transportation Budget

January 18, 2017 - The Governor’s budget for 2017-18 proposes a total of about $20 billion in expenditures for the state’s various transportation departments and programs. In this web post we provide an overview of the proposed transportation budget.

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Federal Spending in California

January 18, 2017 - These online posts estimate and explore federal expenditures in California, which we define as the amount of federal spending that we can directly attribute to recipients in California. In this set of posts, we display total federal expenditures by major program, recipient, and county. We also compare federal expenditures in California to other states.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Overview of the Governor’s Proposition 98 Budget Package

January 13, 2017 - On January 10, 2017, the Governor presented his Proposition 98 budget package to the Legislature. In this post, we provide an overview and initial assessment of the package.

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Ten Years Later: Progress Towards Expending the 2006 Bond Funds

January 3, 2017 - In November 2006, voters approved over $42 billion in bonds. In this web post, we summarize a variety of the reasons why some of these bonds remain unspent ten years later. We also identify some lessons for crafting future bonds.

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Key Differences Between Recent Medical Cannabis Laws and Proposition 64: A Preliminary Review

December 20, 2016 - The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) provides a statutory framework for regulating medical cannabis and Proposition 64 of 2016 provides a statutory framework for regulating nonmedical cannabis. In this web post, we provide a preliminary review of the key differences between MCRSA and Proposition 64. We also describe some overarching issues for Legislative consideration.

(Updated 1/9/17)

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Statewide Minimum Wage Increasing in January

December 6, 2016 - A new law passed in 2016 (SB 3 [Leno]) will increase California’s statewide minimum wage over a period of several years. The first increase will occur on January 1, 2017. This budget and policy post is a supplement to our series on the California Economy and Taxes blog, where we describe California's low-wage workers and highlight the parts of the state with local minimum wages higher than the statewide minimum wage in 2017.

(Updated 12/21/2016 to include Los Altos.)

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Hydraulic Fracturing: How It Works and Recent State Oversight Actions

December 1, 2016 - In 2014, the Legislature passed new laws intended to improve state oversight of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” In this web post, we provide a progress report on the implementation of these new laws and a high-level overview of how hydraulic fracturing is used to stimulate oil and natural gas production.

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Fiscal Outlook Supplement on Proposition 2

November 16, 2016 - On November 16th our office released its annual Fiscal Outlook. The outlook provides our assessment of California’s budget condition through 2020-21. This post provides more details on the outlook’s estimates of constitutionally required debt payments and reserve deposits under Proposition 2.

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New Federal Toxics Law Could Have Future Implications for State

October 5, 2016 - On June 22, 2016, the President signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. The new law implements significant reforms to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Under the new law, U.S. EPA will have greater authority to evaluate and regulate existing chemicals, as well as new chemicals proposed to be brought to the market. In addition to providing EPA with more authority to enforce restrictions on chemicals, the new law places greater limits on the authority of states to enforce their own laws and regulations restricting the use of chemicals. In the long-run, it is quite possible that the new federal law—and specifically the preemption provisions—could significantly affect California’s chemical safety programs and the implementation of current and future state restrictions.