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The 2018-19 Budget: Analysis of the Health and Human Services Budget

February 16, 2018 - In this report we provide a broad overview of the Governor's health and human services budget, highlighting major year-over-year changes. We then provide a more in-depth analysis of select programmatic areas.

Report

The 2018-19 Budget: California Education Learning Lab

February 15, 2018 - In this report, we first provide background on online education at the California Community Colleges (CCC), California State University (CSU), and University of California (UC). We then describe the Governor’s proposal to create a new intersegmental online program, assess that proposal, and make an associated recommendation.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Adult Education Analysis

February 15, 2018 - In this report, we first provide background on adult education and review the restructuring of adult education that the state embarked on in 2013-14. We then describe the Governor’s two 2018-19 adult education proposals. Next, we assess those proposals and examine various unresolved issues relating to the alignment of adult education policies among community colleges and adult schools. Lastly, we make recommendations relating to the Governor’s proposals and policy alignment.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Hastings College of the Law

February 15, 2018 - In this report, we provide an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget for Hastings College of the Law, describe the school’s proposed spending plan, assess that plan, and offer an associated recommendation.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Higher Education Analysis

February 15, 2018 -

In this report, we analyze the Governor’s higher education budget proposals. We begin by providing an overview of higher education in California. In the next four sections, we analyze the Governor’s budget proposals for the three public higher education segments and the California Student Aid Commission. In each of these sections, we provide relevant background, describe and assess the proposals, and make associated recommendations. The final section of the report consists of a summary of our recommendations.

In addition to this report, we have three other higher education budget briefs that analyze the Governor’s proposals for adult education, Hastings College of the Law, and the California Education Learning Lab.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Resources and Environmental Protection

February 14, 2018 - In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. Below, we summarize our major findings and recommendations. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.

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Improving Outcomes for California Conservation Corpsmembers

February 9, 2018 - In this report, we (1) provide background material on the types of training and educational opportunities the CCC offers and how the CCC is funded, (2) discuss the CCC’s goals and objectives for improving its training and work program and the corpsmember outcomes it currently tracks (3) assess the lack of corpsmember outcome data and the feasibility of establishing meaningful corpsmember outcome measures and (4) recommend steps the Legislature could take to improve outcome measurements for corpsmembers and to improve the overall performance of the department.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Transportation Proposals

February 8, 2018 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s budget proposals for various transportation departments and programs. We begin by providing an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget for each department and program. In the next section, we discuss two cross‑cutting state transportation issues: (1) funding from the tax and fee increases authorized by Chapter 5 of 2017 (SB 1, Beall), and (2) an update on the condition of the Motor Vehicle Account (MVA). In the following three sections, we analyze the Governor’s budget proposals for Caltrans, CHP, and DMV. In each of these sections, we provide relevant background, describe the proposals, assess the proposals, and identify issues and recommendations for legislative consideration. The final section consists of a summary of the recommendations we make throughout the report.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Proposition 98 Education Analysis

February 7, 2018 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s overall Proposition 98 budget package as well as his specific spending proposals for K‑12 education and early education.

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Sequestering Savings From the Closure of Developmental Centers

January 31, 2018 - In this report, we (1) provide brief background information about Developmental Center (DC) closures and the Department of Developmental Services budget, (2) discuss potential savings in terms of net operational savings and increased revenues from the sale or repurposing (specifically leasing) of DC properties, and (3) address other practical implications and trade‑offs of the proposal.

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State Archives: Limited Space for a Growing Collection

January 8, 2018 - The State Archives preserves and stores state government records of historical significance. Its collection of both physical and digital records grows annually. Under current practices, the State Archives will exhaust its capacity to store physical records within the next 15 years. To address these capacity concerns, we present two alternatives for legislative consideration. First, the Legislature could increase the Archives’ physical capacity while keeping archival practices similar to the status quo. This alternative would require the state to begin a planning process within the next few years. Second, the Legislature could direct the State Archives to rely principally on digital records in the future. This alternative could limit or delay the need for a new building, but would involve changes in state processes and new information technology systems.

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The Potential Effects of Ending the SSI Cash-Out

January 8, 2018 - The Supplemental Report of the 2017-18 Budget Act directed our office to report on the programmatic and fiscal implications of ending a long-standing state policy that provides Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) recipients an extra $10 payment in lieu of their being eligible to receive federal food benefits through California’s CalFresh program. This is known as the SSI cash-out (or the CalFresh cash-out). In this report, we (1) describe how ending the SSI cash-out would affect households differently, (2) discuss the estimated statewide net effect of ending the SSI cash-out on federal food benefits drawn down by the state and how any variation in the underlying assumptions can create significantly different estimates, (3) provide examples of how ending the SSI cash-out would affect the poverty status of certain households, and (4) as directed by the Supplemental Report, discuss potential options the Legislature could consider to hold households negatively affected by the elimination of the SSI cash-out harmless and present additional issues that merit legislative consideration.

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Evaluating California’s System for Serving Infants and Toddlers With Special Needs

January 4, 2018 - In 2015‑16, California provided early intervention services to about 41,000 infants and toddlers with special needs. These infants and toddlers either have a disability (such as a visual or hearing impairment) or a significant developmental delay (such as not beginning to speak or walk when expected). California’s early intervention system consists of three programs administered by two types of local agencies—schools and regional centers for persons with developmental disabilities. This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of this system since it was established in 1993. The report has three main sections. We first provide background on California’s early intervention system, then assess this system, and conclude by recommending several ways to improve the system.

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An Evaluation of CSU's Cross-Campus Online Education Program

January 3, 2018 - CSU is required by statute to (1) adopt a systemwide definition of online education, (2) report biennially on certain enrollment and performance data related to online education, and (3) report on the feasibility of developing an online bachelor’s degree completion program for students who started college but never obtained a degree. Chapter 82 of 2016 (AB 2908, Committee on Higher Education) requires our office to assess CSU’s implementation of these requirements and report to the Legislature by January 1, 2018. This report fulfills that statutory requirement.

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CCC and UC: An Evaluation of Best Value Procurement Pilot Programs

December 21, 2017 - Chapter 708 of 2012 (Pavley) created pilot programs authorizing best value (BV) in the procurement of goods and services at the California Community Colleges (CCC) and the University of California (UC). Under the BV pilot programs, CCC and UC can consider noncost factors—such as quality and experience—when selecting vendors, rather than selecting vendors based solely on lowest cost. Chapter 708 required CCC and UC to provide our office with certain information on their use of BV during the pilot period. Based on that information, the legislation further required our office to recommend whether to continue CCC's and UC's BV authority. This report fulfills that requirement.