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The 2021-22 Budget: Extension of AB 8 Fees and Funding Securitization for Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure

February 16, 2021 - Analyzes the Governor's proposal to extend certain vehicle-related fees to fund air quality and climate programs, as well as securitize a portion of the revenue to support zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Department of Child Support Services

February 12, 2021 - Analyzes the Governor’s 2021-22 budget proposals related to the child support program, provides background on recent program developments and state review process of child support guidelines, and provides issues for the Legislature to consider.

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The 2021-22 Budget: School Mental Health

February 12, 2021 - In this post, we provide background on school-based mental health services, describe the Governor’s proposals aimed at increasing such services, provide our assessments of the proposals, and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Community Schools

February 12, 2021 - In his January budget, the Governor proposes to allocate $265 million to support the establishment of new, and the expansion of existing, community schools. In this post, we provide background on community schools and funding allocated in the current year to support expansion of existing community schools, describe the Governor’s proposal, assess the proposal, and describe our recommendations to the Legislature.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Funding for Trial Court Construction

February 12, 2021 - This publication provides an overview of the current status of the trial court construction program. It also provides our analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 budget proposals to consolidate two special funds supporting trial court construction and to fund new court construction projects from the General Fund.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Department of Conservation

February 11, 2021 - This publication provides an overview of the Governor's 2021-22 January budget proposals for the Department of Conservation, including resources for the California Geologic Energy Management Division's regulatory oversight and enforcement, public transparency, and implementation of legislation.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of Child Welfare Proposals

February 11, 2021 - In this analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 budget proposal for child welfare programs, we: (1) provide program background; (2) outline the Governor’s proposed budget for child welfare services and foster care programs; and (3) provide key questions and issues for the Legislature to consider related to the administration’s proposals for continued pandemic response, implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, and ongoing implementation of Continuum of Care Reform.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Child Care Proposals

February 11, 2021 - This post analyzes the Governor’s proposal to transition state administration of child care programs. We further provide options the Legislature could consider to support child care programs during the pandemic.

Correction (2/18/2021): A previous version of this post stated DSS released a draft of the transition plan. This version is corrected to state DSS released a transition plan guide.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Trial Court Operations Proposals

February 11, 2021 - This publication examines the impacts of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and prior-year reductions on trial court operations. The publication also identifies issues for the Legislature to consider when determining the appropriate level of overall funding for trial court operations in 2021-22 and our analysis of three of the Governor’s major budget proposals for trial court operations.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Creating a New Department of Better Jobs and Higher Wages

February 10, 2021 - The Governor’s budget for 2021-22 proposes to consolidate state workforce programs under a new Department of Better Jobs and Higher Wages. The new department would include portions of the Employment Development Department, the California Workforce Development Board, and the Department of Industrial Relations. In our view, the functions of the new department appear similar to the functions of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, raising questions about why a new department is needed to integrate these programs. Furthermore, reorganizing a portion of the Employment Development Department during the pandemic poses potentially serious risks to the state's efforts to eliminate the growing backlog of unemployment insurance claims that have not been distributed to workers.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Interest Payment on Federal Unemployment Insurance Loan

February 10, 2021 - The 2021-22 Governor’s Budget proposes $555 million General Fund to make the first interest payment on federal loans the state received to pay unemployment insurance (UI) benefits after the UI fund became insolvent during the pandemic. Our office’s estimate of the upcoming interest payment is much lower—about $260 million. This lower estimate reflects (1) more plausible, up-to-date economic projections and (2) recent federal action to waive a portion of accrued interest for 2021. We recommend the Legislature adopt this lower placeholder amount. In addition, we recommend the Legislature take advantage of a provision of federal law that allows states to defer 75 percent of their UI loan interest payments during economic downturns. If the state chooses to partially defer its interest payment, we estimate the 2021-22 UI loan interest payment would total roughly $65 million.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

February 10, 2021 - This publication analyzes the Governor’s $1.6 billion proposed budget for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), which reflects a $2.3 billion (60 percent) decrease compared to estimated current-year expenditures. The decrease is almost entirely due to one-time General Fund expenditures in 2020-21 related to wildfire debris removal.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Cap-and-Trade Expenditure Plan

February 10, 2021 - This publication analyzes the Governor's cap-and-trade expenditure plan, which includes "early action" discretionary spending of $624 million in 2020-21, as well as $745 million in 2021-22.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Department of Justice

February 10, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor's 2021-22 January budget proposals related to the support of forensic services and Department of Justice legal services for certain state agencies.

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The 2021-22 Budget: CalAIM: The Overarching Issues

February 9, 2021 - The California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal is a set of reforms to expand, transform, and streamline Medi-Cal service delivery and financing. This post—the first in a series assessing different aspects of the Governor’s proposal—provides a brief overview of CalAIM, summarizes key changes from last year’s withdrawn proposal, and analyzes overarching issues related to CalAIM.