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Estimating the CalWORKs Take-Up Rate

February 2, 2021 - This is the first in a series of several posts estimating the percentage of California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)-eligible individuals who actually enroll in the program—otherwise known as the CalWORKs take-up rate. In this post, we introduce our methodology for estimating the number of families eligible for CalWORKs since 2005 and compare this to the number who actually enrolled. In future posts, we plan to examine how this take-up rate varies between different regions in the state, as well as possible reasons why it varies regionally and has changed over time.


The 2021-22 Budget: California State Payroll System IT Project

February 2, 2021 - This post discusses 2021-22 Governor’s Budget proposals for the State Controller’s Office and the California Department of Human Resources to continue planning a replacement for the state’s current payroll system—the proposed California State Payroll System information technology project.


The 2021-22 Budget: Funding for County Probation Departments

February 2, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 January budget proposals to provide additional General Fund support for county probation departments including a $10.3 million modification to the grant program created by Chapter 608 of 2009 (SB 678, Leno), a new one-time $50 million grant, and $12.1 million in one-time funding for supervising people released from prison due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


The 2021-22 Budget: Correctional Staff Training Proposals

February 2, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 January budget proposals to implement various initiatives to improve correctional staff training, including $9.1 million from the General Fund to convert a former prison into a facility to provide hands-on training for staff.


The 2021-22 Budget: Funding for Inmate Meal Costs

February 2, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 January budget proposal to support inmate meal costs with a $7.5 million General Fund augmentation as well as savings from vacant plant operations positions.


The 2020-21 Budget: Prison Maintenance and Repair Proposals

February 2, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 January budget proposals for prison maintenance and repair, including a $50 million one-time General Fund increase to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s base budget for special repairs and deferred maintenance.


The 2021-22 Budget: California Arts Council

February 1, 2021 - In this post, we provide our analysis of the Governor's proposal to provide the California Arts Council $15 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis to support grants for artwork designed to create public awareness of the methods for stopping the spread of COVID-19.


The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of the Major University Proposals

February 1, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor’s major budget proposals for the universities, covering base funding, enrollment, students’ basic needs, faculty professional development, and deferred maintenance.

Hearing Handout

The 2021-22 Budget: Overview of Higher Education Budget

February 1, 2021 - Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance.


Evaluating State Economic Stimulus Proposals

February 1, 2021 - In this report, we offer the Legislature guidance on how to evaluate fiscal stimulus proposals. We pose six key questions to ask when assessing specific proposals and provide specific elements that can be incorporated into proposals to increase their potential effectiveness.


Follow-up Evaluation of the District of Choice Program

February 1, 2021 - The District of Choice program is one of several laws allowing students to transfer from one school district to another school district. The program is scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2023. This evaluation, prepared at the request of the Legislature, assesses recent trends in the program and provides our recommendations regarding reauthorization. It is a follow-up to our previous evaluation, published in January 2016.


The 2021-22 Budget: The Governor’s Suspension Proposal

January 29, 2021 - Under current law, about $1.3 billion in state expenditures—including many that directly support core government services—are subject to potential suspension in 2021-22. Given that the state has a significant windfall, it is unlikely that these suspensions would be operative under current law. The Governor proposes maintaining the suspension calculation for 2022-23. We recommend the Legislature reject the proposed suspension language. Given that the state likely faces multiyear deficits, the Legislature might want to evaluate some the suspension items to ensure the programs are meeting their policy objectives.


The 2021-22 Budget: Extended Learning and Academic Support

January 29, 2021 - In this post, we provide background on school closures and recent funding to address learning loss, describe the Governor’s proposal to allocate $4.6 billion to schools in spring 2021 to address student learning loss caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, assess the proposal, and describe our recommendations to the Legislature.


The 2021-22 Budget: Business Tax Incentives

January 28, 2021 - The Governor’s budget proposes several changes to taxation to support businesses. Two key factors for evaluating these proposals are: (1) which level of government would forgo revenue; and (2) which businesses would receive assistance. Based on these criteria and others, we recommend that the Legislature prioritize expansion of the Main Street credit, explore alternative structures for an elective S Corporation tax, and reject the proposed one-time expansions of the CAEATFA exclusion and California Competes.


Increasing Oversight of the State Litigation Deposit Fund

January 28, 2021 - In this report, we (1) provide an overview of the Litigation Deposit Fund (LDF), a state special fund created to receive certain litigation proceeds, (2) review the Legislature’s oversight of the LDF and the use of litigation proceeds, and (3) make recommendations to facilitate increased legislative oversight.