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The 2021-22 Spending Plan: Child Care and Preschool

December 17, 2021 - This post summarizes the state’s 2021-22 spending package for child care and preschool. It is part of our Spending Plan series, which contains posts focused on each major sector of the state budget.

Handout

Overview of Funding for the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act

December 15, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Judiciary Assembly Committee on Health

Report

Assessing California’s Climate Policies—Agriculture

December 15, 2021 - 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 emission targets. This report provides our assessment of the effects of major programs in the agricultural sector that are aimed at reducing emissions and sequestering carbon, as well as identifies key issues for the Legislature to consider as it makes future policy and budget decisions.

Report

An Initial Review of the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program

December 13, 2021 - In recent years, as wildfires have increased in severity and damage, the Legislature has shown growing interest in state support of wildfire prevention efforts, including regional planning for forest health activities. The Regional Forest and Fire Capacity program (RFFC)—created in 2018—provides non‑competitive block grants to state conservancies, resource conservation districts, and other entities to facilitate regional coordination for forest health and wildfire resilience. These grants are intended to support regional planning, project development, demonstration projects, and community outreach. To implement these activities, grant recipients coordinate with and distribute funds to partnering entities within their regions. We prepared this report to provide an early review of RFFC’s implementation.

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Overview of Mental Health Services for College Students

December 10, 2021 - This post describes the mental health services available to students attending California’s public colleges and universities, highlights recent developments in student mental health since the start of the pandemic, and assesses the data currently available on student mental health issues. It concludes with a recommendation to enhance related reporting requirements applying to the three public higher education segments.

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Cap-And-Trade Auction Update and GGRF Projections

December 6, 2021 - Revenue from quarterly cap‑and‑trade auctions is deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), and the funds are allocated to various climate‑related programs. In this post, we (1) summarize the results from the recent November 2021 cap‑and‑trade auction, (2) estimate future GGRF revenue and the amount available for discretionary spending under three different scenarios, and (3) identify issues for legislative consideration as it begins its 2022‑23 budget deliberations.

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Biannual Report on Truck Deliveries

December 1, 2021 - Chapter 226 of 2019 (AB 321, Patterson) created a sales and use tax exemption for certain truck deliveries. The law also directs our office to submit a biannual report measuring the number of truck deliveries affected by the new exemption. This post describes our attempts to fulfill this requirement.

Handout

Attendance-Based Funding for Schools

November 30, 2021 - Assembly Committee on Education and Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance

Handout

Overview of Recent State and Federal Funding for Schools

November 30, 2021 - Assembly Committee on Education and Assembly Budget Subcommittee No.2 on Education Finance

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The 2021-22 Spending Plan: Human Services

November 22, 2021 - The 2021‑22 spending plan provides just over $23 billion from the General Fund for human services programs. This is an increase of over $6 billion, or 37 percent, compared to the revised prior-year spending level. This significant increase is primarily the result of higher spending in several different departments and programs.

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Update on the Progress of the CalSTRS Funding Plan

November 18, 2021 - This post provides an update on the progress of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) funding plan. The post: (1) describes the changes to unfunded actuarial obligation and contribution rates in 2021-22, based on the most recent actuarial valuation; (2) describes the potential effects of the 2020-21 investment returns; and (3) revisits the recommendations we raised in our March 2021 publication, Strengthening the CalSTRS Funding Plan, using the extreme volatility in investment returns to illustrate how those recommendations would strengthen CalSTRS’ ability to successfully pay down unfunded actuarial obligation—both the state’s share and employers’ share—by 2046.

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The 2022-23 Budget: Medi-Cal Fiscal Outlook

November 17, 2021 - This post describes our fiscal outlook for Medi‑Cal, the major factors that we expect to drive changes in General Fund spending in Medi Cal, and a number of our key underlying assumptions. (Specifically, this post concerns projections of Medi‑Cal local assistance spending within the Department of Health Care Services [DHCS].)

Report

The 2022-23 Budget: Fiscal Outlook for Schools and Community Colleges

November 17, 2021 - Each year, the state calculates a “minimum guarantee” for school and community college funding based upon a set of formulas established by Proposition 98 (1988). Based upon revenue projections that are significantly above the June 2021 estimates, we estimate the guarantee in 2022‑23 is $11.6 billion (12.4 percent) above the 2021‑22 enacted budget level. After accounting for various adjustments—backing out one‑time expenditures, funding a 5.35 percent cost‑of‑living adjustment, and making required reserve deposits—we estimate that $9.5 billion is available for new commitments. In addition, we estimate that $10.2 billion in one‑time funding is available due to increases in the guarantee in 2020‑21 and 2021‑22. In total, we estimate nearly $20 billion is available to allocate in the upcoming budget cycle. To help the Legislature prepare to allocate this funding, we outline several options that would build upon existing programs, expand services in targeted ways, and address future costs and uncertainties.

Report

The 2022-23 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook

November 17, 2021 - Our annual Fiscal Outlook publication gives our office’s independent assessment of the California state budget condition for the upcoming fiscal year and over the longer term. In this report, we anticipate the state will have a $31 billion surplus to allocate in the upcoming fiscal year and operating surpluses ranging from $3 billion to $8 billion over the multiyear period. We also find the state will need to allocate about $14 billion to meet the constitutional requirements of the State Appropriation's Limit (SAL) across 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Report

Enhancing Federal Financial Participation for Consumers Served by the Department of Developmental Services

November 9, 2021 - Examines Medi-Cal enrollment of Department of Developmental Services (DDS) consumers and the fiscal effect that additional Medi-Cal enrollment would have on the DDS budget and on state costs overall.

Correction 11/19/21: Corrected average annual per person fee-for-service cost in Medi-Cal.