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State Wildfire Response Costs Estimated to Be Higher Than Budgeted

October 19, 2020 - This post discusses the administration’s recent notice to the Legislature, which estimates state emergency costs of $1.3 billion to fight this year’s wildfires. Provides context on the extreme wildfire season of 2020, as well as implications for the state budget.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Higher Education

October 16, 2020 - This post summarizes the state’s 2020-21 spending package for higher education. It is part of our Spending Plan series, which contains posts focused on each major sector of the state budget. In this post, we cover spending for the California Community Colleges, California State University, University of California, and student financial aid. The EdBudget part of our website contains dozens of tables providing more detail about the 2020-21 education budget package.

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DMV Shift to Online Services Due to COVID-19

October 16, 2020 - Provides an overview of the recent expansion of online services at the Department of Motor Vehicles, including the creation of the Virtual Field Office, as well as potential fiscal and service implications of this expansion and other issues for legislative consideration.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Health Budget and Policy

October 15, 2020 - From the General Fund, the 2020-21 spending plan provides $26.7 billion for health programs—an increase of 3 percent over estimated 2019-20 General Fund spending for these programs. The year-over-year net increase in General Fund spending is largely due to the projected COVID-19-related increase in the Medi-Cal caseload. The post describes major health-related actions (both policy actions and various budget adjustments) adopted by the Legislature as part of its 2020-21 spending plan. These actions include the offsetting of what would otherwise be General Fund costs with (1) revenues from the federally approved reauthorized tax on managed care organizations and (2) federal Medicaid funds that are being provided to the state at an enhanced level during the term of the public health emergency.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Pensions

October 12, 2020 - The 2020-21 budget package includes actions related to the state’s two largest pension systems—CalPERS and CalSTRS—that result in immediate savings for the state and school employers, while forgoing significant longer-term savings. To achieve these immediate savings, the 2020-21 budget package: 1) repurposes nearly $5 billion of supplemental payments made as part of the 2019-20 budget package on behalf of the state and school employers, and 2) suspends the CalSTRS board’s authority to increase the state’s contribution rate in 20202-21.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Housing and Homelessness

October 8, 2020 - This post describes the 2020-21 budget actions related to housing and homelessness issues.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan — Other Provisions

October 7, 2020 - The 2020-21 Budget: California Spending Plan — Other Provisions.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Resources and Environmental Protection

October 5, 2020 - The budget package provides a total of $10.9 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, bond funds, and various special funds—for programs administered by the California Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. This is a net decrease of $4.4 billion (29 percent) compared to 2019‑20 estimated expenditures.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Labor and Employment Issues

October 5, 2020 - The 2020-21 Budget Act includes several new initiatives and policy changes related to labor and employment programs. This post provides a high-level overview of the state’s major labor and employment programs and highlights the major labor issues in the budget package, including provisions related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Transportation

October 5, 2020 - The 2020‑21 budget provides a total of $26.4 billion for transportation-related programs, including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), high-speed rail, local streets and roads (shared revenues), California Highway Patrol (CHP), and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: State Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank

October 5, 2020 - The federal government has several programs to provide financial assistance to small businesses affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health crisis. The Small Business Finance Center (SBFC) at the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) makes loan guarantees to small businesses that cannot otherwise get financing from conventional sources. CDFIs are lenders that provide loans and other financial services to low-income communities that are underserved by traditional banks and credit unions.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Tax Changes

October 5, 2020 - The 2020‑21 budget package included several tax policy changes. Overall, the budget package assumes these changes will result in a net revenue increase of about $4 billion in 2020‑21. Starting in 2023‑24, the net effect of these changes are expected to reduce revenues below what they otherwise would have been.

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Major Potential State Fiscal Risk Averted Following Withdrawal of Proposed Federal Medicaid Financing Regulation

September 21, 2020 - This Budget and Policy post is intended to notify the Legislature of the federal government’s recent decision to withdraw the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR), proposed in 2019. If finalized as proposed, MFAR could have resulted in the loss of billions of dollars in non-General Fund funding for Medi-Cal on annual basis. Withdrawal of the regulation means that a major, near-term state fiscal risk has been averted.

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Impact of COVID-19 on State Transportation Revenues

September 17, 2020 - The state has experienced reductions in gasoline and other tax revenues that support California's transportation system. This post discusses these declines and the potential effects on major state transportation programs.

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An Update on California’s Cash Management Situation

August 31, 2020 - Provides an update on California’s cash management situation, including recent developments in spring 2020 and the outlook for 2020-21.