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The 2021-22 Budget: California Department of Public Health's COVID‑19 Response

February 5, 2021 - This publication describes how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spending is reflected in the California Department of Public Health’s budget. It offers options for how the Legislature can express its COVID-19-related goals and priorities in light of the administration’s reliance on midyear budget adjustments, provides an evaluative framework for assessing the administration’s proposals, and recommends an after-action review of the state’s public health response.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Nutrition Access Programs

February 4, 2021 - This handout highlights California's major nutrition access programs, related federal and state actions in response to COVID-19, and the Governor's CalFresh-related proposals in the 2021-22 budget.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Special Education Proposals

February 4, 2021 - This post provides background on special education preschool and school Medi-Cal billing, describes the Governor's proposals related to these topics, details our assessments of the proposals, and offers associated recommendations for the Legislature to consider.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Peace Officer Training Mandate

February 4, 2021 - The intent of Chapter 469 of 2015 (SB 29, Beall) was to improve peace officers’ abilities to identify and effectively respond to individuals with mental health, intellectual disability, or substance use disorders. The Commission on State Mandates has found that requiring field training officers (FTOs) to complete at least eight hours of training on this topic constitutes a reimbursable mandate. Given the state’s interest in promoting trust in law enforcement and in minimizing unnecessary harm to members of the public, we recommend funding this mandate to ensure FTOs receive at least this amount of training.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

February 4, 2021 - This publication discusses the Governor's 2021-22 January budget proposals for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, including $143 million for hand crews, $8 million for defensible space inspectors, and $54 million for various capital outlay projects.

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The 2021-22 Budget: California Department of Parks and Recreation

February 4, 2021 - This publication provides an overview of the Governor's 2021-22 January budget proposals for the Department of Parks and Recreation, including addressing a funding shortfall in the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of the Governor’s CalWORKs Proposals

February 3, 2021 - In this post, we provide important background on California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), updates on how caseload has been affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and analyze the Governor’s proposed CalWORKs budget. In short, caseload has declined precipitously in the most recent data, reaching a new all-time low in November 2020 (the most recent month for which there are data). This runs contrary to both the Governor’s budget (which assumes a fairly rapid rate of caseload growth from 2020 through 2022) and the historic relationship between caseload and economic data (which suggests caseload should increase following increased unemployment). In line with other efforts the administration is proposing to support low-income individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, we suggest the Legislature work with the administration to understand the factors leading to the lower than expected caseload and explore options for ensuring CalWORKs assistance reaches eligible families.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.