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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Tax Changes

October 5, 2020 - The 2020‑21 budget package included several tax policy changes. Overall, the budget package assumes these changes will result in a net revenue increase of about $4 billion in 2020‑21. Starting in 2023‑24, the net effect of these changes are expected to reduce revenues below what they otherwise would have been.

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Major Potential State Fiscal Risk Averted Following Withdrawal of Proposed Federal Medicaid Financing Regulation

September 21, 2020 - This Budget and Policy post is intended to notify the Legislature of the federal government’s recent decision to withdraw the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR), proposed in 2019. If finalized as proposed, MFAR could have resulted in the loss of billions of dollars in non-General Fund funding for Medi-Cal on annual basis. Withdrawal of the regulation means that a major, near-term state fiscal risk has been averted.

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Impact of COVID-19 on State Transportation Revenues

September 17, 2020 - The state has experienced reductions in gasoline and other tax revenues that support California's transportation system. This post discusses these declines and the potential effects on major state transportation programs.

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An Update on California’s Cash Management Situation

August 31, 2020 - Provides an update on California’s cash management situation, including recent developments in spring 2020 and the outlook for 2020-21.

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The 2020-21 May Revision: Analysis of 2020-21 May Revision IHSS Budget

June 9, 2020 - In this post, we (1) explain the differences between the Governor’s January and May Revision budget estimates for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS); (2) describe the administration’s IHSS caseload, hours per case, and hourly wage projections; (3) compare the May Revision monthly estimates for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) costs in IHSS to April 2020 actuals; (4) recommend a downward adjustment of at least a $20 million General Fund in 2019-20 to reflect lower-than-estimated utilization and cost of IHSS COVID-19-related response efforts in April 2020; and (5) recommend the Legislature request actual May 2020 utilization data to determine whether additional adjustments to COVID-19 cost estimates are warranted for May 2020 and possibly June 2020.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Effect of Lower Cap-and-Trade Revenues on the High-Speed Rail Project

June 4, 2020 - The final quarterly cap-and-trade auction in 2019-20—which was held in May 2020—generated very little revenue compared to recent auctions. In this post, we discuss how the reduction in cap-and-trade revenues might affect the state’s high-speed rail project.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Addressing Revenue Uncertainty in the 2020-21 Cap-and-Trade Expenditure Plan

June 4, 2020 - The 2020-21 May Revision includes a $965 million Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) discretionary expenditure plan, plus a budget provision to make spending contingent on the amount of revenue collected in 2020-21. In this post, we (1) discuss a few potential 2020-21 revenue scenarios, (2) summarize the Governor’s May Revision GGRF expenditure plan, and (3) identify key issues for the Legislature to consider as it develops a 2020-21 GGRF spending plan in a period of high revenue uncertainty.

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The 2020-21 May Revision: CalWORKs Caseload-Driven Costs in the 2020-21 May Revision

June 2, 2020 - The 2020-21 May Revision projects California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) caseload to reach historic highs in response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and subsequent public health emergency. In this post, we describe this projection, assess it in light of recent data and historical trends, and recommend an alternative set of assumptions.

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The 2020-21 May Revision: Recommend Reduction to Medi-Cal Caseload Costs

May 22, 2020 - This post provides our analysis of the Governor’s May Revision projections related to Medi-Cal caseload. The May Revision assumes significant General Fund cost increases related to projected increases in Medi-Cal caseload due to the deteriorating economic environment caused by the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). As we describe below, we find that the administration’s assumed caseload costs in Medi-Cal are likely significantly overstated and recommend a downward reduction to the Medi-Cal budget of $750 million General Fund across 2019-20 and 2020-21.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Immigrant Legal Services at the Public Higher Education Segments

May 21, 2020 - In this post, we (1) provide background on immigrant residents in California and state funding for immigrant legal services, including for students at the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California; (2) provide an implementation update on each segment’s immigrant legal services program; (3) describe the Governor’s January and May proposals to provide additional funding for immigrant legal services at the segments; and (4) provide an associated budget alternative for the Legislature to consider within the context of the state’s budget downturn.

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The 2020-21 May Revision: Revenue Proposals in the 2020-21 May Revision

May 20, 2020 - The May Revision includes a number of revenue-related proposals. This post describes these proposals and offers our initial comments and recommendations. We also offer alternative revenue options that the Legislature could consider.

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COVID-19: Federal and State Actions Affecting K-12 Education and Child Care

May 14, 2020 - In this post, we discuss actions the federal and state governments have taken to assist K-12 schools and child care providers in responding to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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Overview of Federal COVID-19 Research Funding

May 13, 2020 - This post describes the major research and development provisions of recent federal relief measures. It also highlights some key issues for the Legislature to consider relating to research and the state budget.

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State Corrections: Response to COVID-19

May 8, 2020 - In this post, we discuss actions the state and federal courts have taken with respect to state prisons, parole, and juvenile facilities due to the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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Judicial Branch Actions Responding to COVID-19

May 6, 2020 - In this post, we discuss actions the judicial branch has taken to temporarily change operations due to the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).