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Collective Bargaining: Assessing Proposed Employee Compensation Increases

March 20, 2020 - The Legislature likely will be asked to approve labor agreements for eight bargaining units in 2020—the employees represented by these bargaining units account for more than one-half of the state’s General Fund personnel costs. The purpose of this post is to highlight the importance of requiring the administration to justify compensation increases it agrees to in labor agreements submitted to the Legislature for approval.

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The 2020-21 Budget: California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA)

March 20, 2020 - The Governor’s 2020-21 budget includes proposals related to CDTFA’s administration of cannabis taxes, tobacco taxes, and fuel taxes. In this post, we discuss some budget reductions included in the cannabis and tobacco proposals, and we assess the adequacy of the fuel tax proposal.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Governor’s Fiscal Oversight Proposals

March 19, 2020 - In this post, we provide background on fiscal oversight of school districts in California, describe the Governor’s proposals to augment oversight and reporting requirements related to school district budgets, assess those proposals, and provide associated recommendations.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Hastings College of the Law

March 13, 2020 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposal to provide Hastings College of the Law with a $1.4 million ongoing, unrestricted General Fund increase. As it reviews this budget request, we encourage the Legislature to consider each aspect of the school’s plan to increase overall operational spending, reduce tuition discounting, grow enrollment, and eliminate its operating deficit.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Fresno Integrated K-16 Education Collaborative

March 11, 2020 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposal to provide $17 million one-time General Fund to establish the Fresno Integrated K-16 Education Collaborative. The primary objective of the proposal is to create more education pathways in the greater Fresno region that help students transition from high school into college and the workforce. We raise several concerns with the proposal and recommend the Legislature consider other one-time spending options.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Governor’s Computer Science Proposals

March 10, 2020 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposals to increase the capacity of school districts to teach computer science. We first provide background on computer science in California schools, then describe the Governor’s proposals, assess the proposals, and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2020-21 Budget: U-Visa I-918 Form Mandate

March 4, 2020 - State law directs our office to report on the annual state costs for new state-reimbursable mandates and make recommendations to the Legislature as to whether the new mandates should be repealed, funded, suspended, or modified. This analysis fulfills that requirement for the U-Visa I-918 Form, Victims of Crime: Nonimmigrant Status mandate, which is one of two newly identified state mandates in the 2020-21 budget.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Local Agency Employee Organizations, Impasse Procedures II

March 4, 2020 - State law directs our office to report on the annual state costs for new state-reimbursable mandates and make recommendations to the Legislature as to whether the new mandates should be repealed, funded, suspended, or modified. This analysis fulfills that requirement for the Local Agency Employee Organizations, Impasse Procedures II mandate, which is one of two newly identified state mandates in the 2020-21 budget.

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The 2020-21 Budget: California Public Utilities Commission

February 27, 2020 - The Governor’s budget proposes $1.7 billion for the California Public Utilities Commission. In this post, we provide our recommendations on the proposed budget for the California LifeLine Program.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Governor’s Information Security Proposals

February 25, 2020 - One of the priorities of the Governor’s proposed 2020‑21 budget is to improve information security (IS) across state government entities. The proposed budget includes resource requests for the entities that govern IS for the entire state to increase their operational capacity, as well as resource requests for individual government entities to expand and improve their IS programs. This budget and policy post provides relevant information about state IS strategy to help the Legislature consider each of these requests.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Improving the State's Unpaid Wage Claim Process

February 19, 2020 - In this post, we provide a background on employment laws, take an initial look at worker outcomes in the wage claim process, and highlight several opportunities to improve the process. We also assess the Governor’s proposal to hire additional staff at the Department of Industrial Relations to reduce delays that have recently begun to affect wage claims.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Staffing to Address New Independent Contractor Test

February 11, 2020 - The 2020‑21 Governor’s budget includes two labor proposals related to Chapter 296 of 2019 (AB 5, Gonzalez), a new law that limits what types of work businesses can hire independent contractors to do. In this post, we provide a background on the new law, discuss how many workers it might affect, and make recommendations about the workload proposals at the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Employment Development Department (EDD).

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SB 1 Has Doubled Major Source of State Funding for Local Streets and Roads

January 24, 2020 - SB 1 has increased state funding for local streets and roads by $1.3 billion—a doubling of the previous level of shared revenues—with additional revenue increases projected in current and future years.

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The 2020-21 Budget: Overview of Labor and Employment Programs

January 22, 2020 - The 2020-21 Governor’s Budget includes 18 budget proposals related to labor and employment programs. This post provides a high-level overview of these proposals. Our office plans to evaluate several of these proposals more closely in the coming weeks.

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Assessing Vulnerability of State Assets to Climate Change

January 9, 2020 - This post summarizes the current efforts being undertaken by state departments to assess the vulnerability of state facilities to the future impacts of climate change. We find that most state agencies are only in the early stages of conducting such assessments, which are a critical first step of a multistep process of planning to reduce risks to state assets and public services. We provide a number of oversight questions the Legislature can use to monitor what progress is being made by individual state departments.