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The 2019-20 Budget: Department of State Hospitals

February 13, 2019 - The Governor’s budget proposes $2 billion for the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) in 2019‑20—an increase of $59 million (3 percent) from the revised 2018‑19 level. In this report, we assess four specific DSH proposals and offer recommendations for legislative consideration.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Analysis of the Medi-Cal Budget

February 13, 2019 - In this report, we describe the major changes and proposals in the Governor's proposed $100.7 billion (all funds) Medi-Cal budget. Specifically, we advise the Legislature to seriously consider renewing the managed care organization tax, despite the Governor not proposing to do so; present issues for consideration related to the Governor's proposed expansion of comprehensive Medi-Cal coverage for young adults regardless of immigration status; and provide an initial assessment of the Governor's proposals to use Proposition 56 funding in Medi-Cal to extend and expand provider payment increases. We recommend approval of the Governor's proposals to improve fiscal oversight of the Medi-Cal budget, and also recommend that the Legislature require the administration provide additional information to the Legislature in an effort to improve fiscal oversight and transparency of this very large, complex budget going forward.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Proposition 98 Analysis

February 13, 2019 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s Proposition 98 budget package. The first four sections of the report focus on the architecture of the Proposition 98 budget, with an overview of the new Proposition 98 spending the Governor proposes, an assessment of the Governor’s estimates of the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee, a discussion of several factors that could affect the Legislature’s Proposition 98 budget planning in the coming months, and an assessment of the Governor’s proposal relating to Proposition 98 true‑ups. We dedicate the five remaining sections of the report to examining the Governor’s major proposals involving K‑12 education. Specifically, we analyze his proposals for (1) the Local Control Funding Formula, (2) special education, (3) county offices of education, (4) education mandates, and (5) school facilities.

(2/14/19 -- Adjusted when Proposition 51 funding would be exhausted given proposed pace of bond sales.)

Report

The 2019-20 Budget: Deferred Maintenance

February 8, 2019 - The Governor’s budget includes over $600 million from the General Fund and Proposition 68 for deferred maintenance projects at various state departments. We recommend that the Legislature require (1) departments receiving funding to report at budget hearings on the approach they will use to prioritize projects, as well as specific projects they plan to undertake; (2) the Department of Finance to report, no later than January 1, 2023, on which projects departments ultimately undertook with the funds provided; and (3) departments that continue to experience growth in deferred maintenance backlogs over the next few years to identify the reasons for the increases and the specific steps they plan to take to improve maintenance practices on an ongoing basis.

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The 2019-20 Budget: The Governor's Individual Health Insurance Market Affordability Proposals

February 7, 2019 - This report provides our assessment of the Governor's proposals to (1) create a state requirement that most Californians purchase health insurance coverage (referred to as an "individual mandate") or pay a financial penalty and (2) use the revenues from this penalty to fund additional health insurance subsidies for households purchasing coverage through Covered California.

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California's Education System: A 2019 Guide

February 6, 2019 - This report is a visual guide that covers every major area of California’s education system, with chapters on early education, K-12 education, adult precollegiate education, undergraduate education, graduate education, and education facilities. Throughout the report, we rely almost entirely upon state and federal government data sources and cite the most readily available data. Within each chapter, we tend to focus on the students who are served, the state programs designed to serve them, the funds supporting those programs, how program funding is spent, and what is known about outcomes in that area. As you journey through the report, you will be exposed to information on everything from student diversity and achievement gaps, to student aid and borrowing, to faculty salaries and rising pension costs, to the requirements for becoming a teacher or doctor in California. We hope the report is a helpful reference guide for you.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Structuring the Budget: Reserves, Debt and Liabilities

February 5, 2019 - This report considers the overall structure of the Governor’s budget to evaluate how well it prepares the state to address a future budget problem. We begin with background to explain the state budget structure, budget problems, and options for addressing budget problems. We also provide background on the state’s existing reserves and debts and liabilities. We then present some key considerations as the Legislature considers its overall budget structure. Finally, we present and assess each of the Governor’s major budget reserve and debt and liability proposals and offer some alternatives for legislative consideration.

2/5/19: Corrected total of state spending deferrals in Figure 5.

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Assessing California’s Climate Policies—Transportation

December 21, 2018 - Chapter 135 of 2017 (AB 398, E. Garcia) requires our office to annually report on the economic impacts and benefits of California’s statutory greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals—statewide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. This report provides our assessment of the effects, of major policies in the transportation sector intended to help meet these goals, as well as identifies some key issues for the Legislature to consider as it makes future policy and budget decisions. In a companion report, Assessing California’s Climate Policies—An Overview, we describe the general types of economic effects of state climate policies, key challenges in measuring these effects, and broad issues for the Legislature to consider when designing and evaluating its climate policies.

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Assessing California’s Climate Policies—An Overview

December 21, 2018 - Chapter 135 of 2017 (AB 398, E. Garcia) requires our office to annually report on the economic impacts and benefits of California’s statutory greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals—statewide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. This report provides a conceptual overview of the potential economic effects of policies intended to help meet these goals—both positive and negative—as well as identifies some key issues for the Legislature to consider when designing and evaluating state climate policies. In a companion report, Assessing California’s Climate Policies—Transportation, we provide more detailed information and comments on the state’s major policies aimed at reducing emissions from the transportation sector.

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Analyzing Recent Changes to State Support for Fiscally Distressed Districts

December 20, 2018 - Recent legislation made several changes to the state’s system for intervening in fiscally distressed school districts. These changes could have significant implications for districts moving forward. In this report, we provide background on how the state historically has intervened in fiscally distressed districts, describe and assess the recent changes the state made, and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2020 Census: Potential Impacts on California

December 13, 2018 - In this report, we first provide information on what the Census is. Second, we discuss how the Census is conducted—including the steps the federal government has taken to date and what it plans to do over the next few years to conduct the 2020 Census. (We also describe state efforts to supplement these federal activities.) We then discuss the likelihood of an undercount in California in 2020. Finally, we discuss the implications of an undercount for California both in terms of representation in Congress and federal funding.

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Child Care Attendance Records: Comparing Paper and Electronic Processes

December 12, 2018 - The Supplemental Report of the 2018-19 Budget Act required our office to identify the pros and cons of Alternative Payment agencies using a paper versus electronic process to collect monthly child care attendance records. This report fulfills this requirement.

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Evaluation of a Sales Tax Exemption for Certain Manufacturers

December 11, 2018 - The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) administers a sales tax exemption for equipment used for certain manufacturing activities. (Many people refer to this program as an exclusion rather than an exemption.) Under current law, this program will end on January 1, 2021. Public Resources Code 26011.8(g) requires our office to report on the effectiveness of the program—including its economic, fiscal, and environmental effects—by January 1, 2019. This report fulfills that statutory requirement.

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Taxation of Sugary Drinks

November 26, 2018 - Taxes on sugary drinks have become increasingly common in recent years. In June 2018, the Legislature passed a law (Chapter 61 of 2018 [AB 1838, Committee on Budget]) prohibiting local governments from levying such taxes (and other taxes on groceries) through 2030. The law stated the Legislature’s intent to regulate the imposition and collection of such taxes to the exclusion of local action. As such, the Legislature may face the following decisions: (1) Should the state levy an excise tax on sugary drinks? and (2) If so, how should the tax be designed? This report provides information and perspectives for the Legislature to consider as it weighs these choices.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Proposition 98 Outlook

November 14, 2018 - In this report, we examine how the minimum guarantee might change over the next several years and discuss the factors likely to be driving those changes. We then examine key aspects of district budgets—focusing on the main cost pressures facing districts over the next several years.

In addition to this report, you can find the main California's Fiscal Outlook report along with a collection of other fiscal outlook material on our fiscal outlook budget page.