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Budget and Policy Post

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The 2022-23 Budget: California State Library

February 18, 2022 - This post analyzes the Governor's four budget proposals for the California State Library in 2022-23. The proposals focus on digitization activities, online job training programs, the Lunch at the Library program, and the California State Library's building rental costs.

Correction (2/22/22): Description of 2021-22 General Fund support for CAreer Pathways has been corrected.


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The Definition of Qualified Capital Outlay for the State Appropriations Limit

February 18, 2022 - In this post, we provide our view on some commonly asked questions about the statutory definition of capital outlay for the state appropriations limit (SAL).


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The 2022-23 Budget: Expanded Learning Programs

February 16, 2022 - In his January budget, the Governor proposes an additional $3.6 billion for the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program and $149 million for the state’s longstanding expanded learning programs. In this post, we provide background on the state’s expanded learning programs, describe and assess the Governor’s proposal, and provide our recommendations to the Legislature.


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The 2022-23 Budget: UC Climate-Related Proposals

February 16, 2022 - The Governor’s budget funds three UC climate‑related proposals focused on research, technology incubators, and workforce development. This post analyzes these proposals. It begins with a brief background section on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in California. It then has three sections analyzing each of the proposals in turn. This post is a companion to our main brief on UC budget issues, The 2022‑23 Budget: Analysis of Major UC Proposals.


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The 2022-23 Budget: State Payments on the Federal Unemployment Insurance Loan

February 15, 2022 - In this post, we provide a projection of state and employer costs to repay the federal Unemployment Insurance loan under two economic scenarios, assess the effects of the Governor's proposed $3 billion General Fund payment toward the outstanding loan, and present an alternative to the Governor's proposal that could provide more immediate tax relief.


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The 2022-23 Budget: Assessing Proposals to Address Unemployment Insurance Fraud

February 15, 2022 - In this post, we outline the challenges the Employment Development Department faced paying legitimate Unemployment Insurance claims and preventing fraud during the pandemic, review steps the department has taken to improve since then, and assess whether the six proposed anti-fraud vendor contracts are warranted at this time.


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The 2022-23 Budget: K-12 Early Literacy Proposals

February 15, 2022 - This post provides background on school funding and literacy, describes the Governor’s K-12 early literacy proposals for schools, and offers associated assessments and recommendations to the Legislature.


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The 2022-23 Budget: Highway Violence Task Force

February 14, 2022 - The Governor proposes $4 million General Fund for the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to support the Highway Violence Task Force. Although providing resources to CHP to address highway violence has merit, it is unclear whether the proposal is the most effective solution given the limited understanding of the factors associated with highway violence and the high levels of vacancies at CHP. In addition, we find that the Motor Vehicle Account (MVA) is a more appropriate funding source than the General Fund to address highway violence. To the extent that the Legislature considers highway violence a priority, we recommend the Legislature consider research‑based alternatives, fund the various activities from the MVA, and require reporting on the prevalence and associated factors of highway violence.


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The 2022-23 Budget: California Food Assistance Program

February 11, 2022 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposal to provide food assistance to currently ineligible immigrants aged 55 and older. First, we provide some essential background on California’s food assistance programs, then we describe the Governor’s proposed expansion, and finally provide an analysis of the proposal as well as issues for legislative consideration.


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The 2022-23 Budget: Analysis of the Governor’s CalWORKs Proposals

February 11, 2022 - In this post, we provide some basic background on the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, an update on recent program changes and caseload trends, and an overview of the Governor’s CalWORKs budget proposals.


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The 2022-23 Budget: Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Proposals

February 11, 2022 - This post provides some background about the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), describes the Governor’s budget proposal for GO-Biz, and offers comments and issues for the Legislature to consider.


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The 2022-23 Budget: Fuel Tax Rates

February 11, 2022 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposed one-year fuel tax holiday. This proposal presents the Legislature with a tradeoff between reducing fuel expenses and funding state highway projects.


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The 2022-23 Budget: Department of Justice Proposals

February 11, 2022 - This publication provides our assessment and recommendations on two of the Governor’s 2022-23 budget proposals related to the Department of Justice.


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The 2022-23 Budget: Clean California Local Grant Program

February 10, 2022 - In this post, we assess the Governor’s 2022-23 budget proposal to provide an additional year of funding for the Clean California Local Grant Program administered by the California Department of Transportation.


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The 2022-23 Budget: Update on Home- and Community- Based Services Spending Plan

February 10, 2022 - This post provides an update on the state's home- and community-based services spending plan, which was conditionally approved by the federal government in January 2022. We describe the quarterly updates the state will need to provide the federal government and ways to ensure legislative oversight over implementation of HCBS spending plan.