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Funding the State Water Resources Control Board's Core Regulatory Program

February 20, 2002 - The budget proposes to create General Fund savings by shifting some General Fund support for the State Water Resources Control Board's core regulatory program to fees. We discuss the Governor's proposal, make recommendations for fee legislation, and provide an assessment of the board's funding requirements over the longer term.

Report

Addressing the Obligations Resulting From the Department of Parks and Recreation's Land Acquisitions

February 20, 2002 - Recently, the Department of Parks and Recreation has significantly increased its land acquisitions without addressing associated future development and operating costs. We provide options for funding development and operation, and make recommendations to reduce the likelihood that future acquisitions will result in unfunded obligations.

Report

Funding for Fire Protection

February 20, 2002 - We raise concerns with the Governor's proposal to (1) eliminate the General Fund support for emergency fire suppression, (2) reduce General Fund expenditures for "day-to-day" firefighting activities by increasing reimbursements, and (3) eliminate an existing legislative notification requirement. We also offer options for the Legislature to consider for funding fire protection services.

Report

Analysis of the 2002-03 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter

February 20, 2002 - Analysis of the 2002-03 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter

Report

Fiscal and Policy Analysis of the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority

November 21, 2001 - A member-requested fiscal and policy analysis of Chapter 10x, Statutes of 2001 (SB 6x, Burton). This measure created the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority.

Report

The Power Crisis is the Key "Wild Card" in the LAO Economic Outlook

February 21, 2001 - The most pressing challenge currently facing the state relates to its electricity crisis, especially in light of the multiplicity of ways that energy affects the economy and ultimately the state's finances.

Report

Energy-Related Proposals

February 21, 2001 - The Governor's budget proposes a number of augmentations totaling $1.2 billion ($1.1 billion General Fund) related to the state's energy crisis. These proposals would add nearly 100 positions across six departments.

Report

CALFED Bay-Delta Program

February 21, 2001 - The 2001-02 budget proposes $414 million in state funds for CALFED. In determining a funding level for the program, there are a number of policy, fiscal, and programmatic issues for the Legislature to consider.

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Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter

February 21, 2001 - Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter

Report

Environmental Water Account: Need for Legislative Definition and Oversight

January 29, 2001 - We recommend that the Legislature hold oversight hearings to evaluate CALFED's proposal for the Environmental Water Account, implemented to acquire water for endangered species protection and recovery in the Bay-Delta region. There are many policy and implementation issues that the Legislature should consider before CALFED proceeds with the new program, including the program's costs, benefits, impacts, governance, and funding. Funding should be governed by the "beneficiary pays" principle.

Report

Improving State Oversight and Direction of Local Air Districts

January 24, 2001 - The state could do a better job at achieving its air quality goals if it exercised more effective oversight of the 35 local air districts. We think that a number of recent problems--including inconsistent and not fully effective local enforcement of air quality regulations--could have been reduced with such oversight. We make a number of recommendations to improve the state's role in air quality regulation.

Report

California's Land Conservation Efforts: The Role of State Conservancies

January 5, 2001 - Because the state lacks a comprehensive land conservation plan, it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of "conservancies" that acquire and protect undeveloped lands. We recommend that, in the short term, the Legislature limit the creation of additional conservancies and enact sunset review provisions for existing conservancies. In the longer term, we recommend a review of the state's overall approach to land conservation.

Report

Propositions 12 and 13--Parks and Water Bonds: Implementation Issues

May 25, 2000 - The two bond measures provide for a major investment in the state's natural resources. The purpose of the report is to identify actions the Legislature can take to ensure that the bond measures are implemented effectively, efficiently, and consistent with the Legislature's goals in enacting the measures. We also recommend actions to provide accountability for bond-funded expenditures.

Report

Land Acquisition Funding

February 17, 2000 - The budget proposes language for the Wildlife Conservation Board and State Coastal Conservancy that would allow those departments to use a portion of land acquisition and improvement funding for administrative costs. We believe the language would permit fund redirections that may not match actual workload.

Report

Cal-EPA Cross-Agency Initiatives

February 17, 2000 - We discuss three initiatives proposed in the budget--enforcement, children's health, and the California/Mexico border--that are designed to address environmental issues that cut across a number of the constituent boards and departments under the California Environmental Protection Agency.