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January 6, 2023 - This post provides an overview of newly enacted legislation addressing the state's greenhouse gas emissions and clean energy goals, energy sources, and oil and gas extraction policies.
January 6, 2023 - As required by Chapter 723 of 2021 (SB 211, Umberg), this report presents our assessment of the California State Bar’s proposed (1) caseload processing standards for resolving attorney discipline cases within its Office of Chief Trial Counsel, (2) establishment of a backlog goal and metrics to measure such a goal, and (3) staffing requirements needed to achieve the new standards.
January 5, 2023 - This handout explores how program spending increased since 2013-14. We focus on trends in spending since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
January 5, 2023 - In this report, we (1) provide background on California’s parole hearing process, (2) identify current aspects of the process that could disadvantage certain groups, and (3) recommend steps to promote greater equity in the parole hearing process.
January 5, 2023 - In this brief, we provide background on capital renewal at UC and CSU, assess the current approach to addressing capital renewal, make recommendations to better plan and budget for capital renewal, and raise other related issues for consideration.
December 16, 2022 - This brief looks at health care coverage in California; provides background on the drivers of the significant decline in the percentage of Californians without health care coverage over the last ten years; and discusses various issues that could impact the number of Californians with coverage, and how the type of coverage they have may change, in calendar year 2023 and beyond.
December 15, 2022 - Persistent high inflation presents federal and state policymakers with an economic problem not seen in roughly four decades. In fact, during much of the past 15-year period, inflation not only was subdued, it consistently ran below the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed’s) target of 2 percent. Chronically below-target inflation eventually prompted the Fed in August 2020 to adjust its policy framework to combat this tendency. Not long after, however, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation trends and the Fed’s orientation to them began to reverse. Once it emerged, inflation accelerated throughout 2021 and has remained elevated this year with as yet indeterminate signs of abating.
November 29, 2022 - Presented to: Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments
November 16, 2022 - Each year, the state calculates a “minimum guarantee” for school and community college funding based upon a set of formulas established by Proposition 98 (1988). Based upon recent signs of weakness in the economy, we estimate the guarantee in 2023‑24 is $2.2 billion (2 percent) below the 2022‑23 enacted budget level. Despite this drop, $7.6 billion would be available to provide increases for school and community college programs. In 2023‑24, the available funding could cover a cost‑of‑living adjustment (COLA) of up to 8.38 percent, which is slightly below our estimate of the statutory rate (8.73 percent). Over the next several years, growth in the guarantee and required reserve withdrawals would be just enough to cover the statutory COLA. Given this relatively precarious balance, we outline a few ways the Legislature could create a larger cushion to protect against revenue declines in the future.
November 16, 2022 - Our annual Fiscal Outlook publication gives our office’s independent assessment of the California state budget condition for the upcoming fiscal year and over the longer term. In this report, we anticipate the state will have a $24 billion budget problem to solve in the upcoming fiscal year and operating deficits declining from $17 billion to $8 billion over the multiyear period. The goal of this report is to help the Legislature begin crafting the 2023‑24 budget. Our analysis relies on specific assumptions about the future of the state economy, its revenues, and its expenditures. Consequently, our estimates are not definitive, but rather reflect our best guidance to the Legislature based on our professional assessments as of November 2022.
Update (11/22/22): The original version of this report identified a $25 billion—instead of a $24 billion—budget problem, which reflected an error in the way we accounted for student housing grant program funding.
November 16, 2022 - Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance