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The 2019-20 Budget: Overview of the Governor’s Proposition 98 Budget Package

January 16, 2019 - The Governor presented his proposed state budget to the Legislature on January 10, 2019. In this post, we provide an overview and initial assessment of the largest piece of that budget—the Proposition 98 budget. The first section of the post focuses on major Proposition 98 spending proposals whereas the second section focuses on the administration’s estimates of the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee. For additional information about the Proposition 98 budget, please see our January 2019 EdBudget tables.

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How California Governments Respond to Disasters

January 10, 2019 - Government agencies are responsible for reacting quickly to disasters to help limit damage to people and their property. This includes assessing the disaster situation and bringing in the necessary resources to respond in a coordinated way. This post describes the state system used to facilitate a coordinated response to disasters. It also describes various types of disaster declarations that state and local governments make in order to receive financial assistance for response and recovery costs.

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Main Types of Disasters and Associated Trends

January 10, 2019 - In this post, we summarize the most common disasters affecting California—floods, fires, and earthquakes. We also provide some information on key disaster trends.

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Main Types of Disaster Recovery Assistance

January 10, 2019 - In the event of a large-scale disaster, state and local governments, individuals and households, and businesses all can face damage to their properties and other possessions. Many of these losses ultimately are borne by these entities or individuals, their insurance, or the parties deemed responsible for the disaster, if applicable. However, both the federal government and the State of California provide various types of financial and in-kind assistance following certain disasters to offset some of the costs associated with recovering from disasters. Notably, the type of federal and state assistance that is available can vary by disaster, with some assistance only available in the aftermath of larger state or federally declared disasters. In this post, we summarize some of the major types of recovery assistance that can be available.

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Federal Approval of a Reauthorized Managed Care Organization Tax Now Appears More Likely

December 21, 2018 - This post describes recent national developments pertinent to the reauthorization of California’s managed care organization (MCO) tax. The state’s prospects for receiving federal approval—which initially were uncertain—appear to be improved following the recent federal approval of a health insurer tax in Michigan that is structured similarly to California’s MCO tax.

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Recent Changes to State and County IHSS Wage and Benefit Costs

December 14, 2018 - In this post, we (1) explain how the scheduled state minimum wage increases impact IHSS wages and state and county costs, (2) describe the recent temporary and permanent changes to the state and county cost-sharing structure for IHSS wage and benefit increases, and (3) explain how these changes could impact county wage decisions and costs for the state.

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How CalFire is Spending Recent Forest Health Funds

November 15, 2018 - In this post, we provide a summary of how CalFire is spending Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund dollars provided in the 2017-18 budget package. We focus primarily on CalFire’s Forest Health Program, and identify issues for the Legislature to consider as it oversees and guides future expenditures of forest health funding.

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Evolution of the Balance of the Budget Stabilization Account

November 14, 2018 - This post discusses the various types of deposits the Legislature has made into the Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) that now compose its balance. We also present our projections of the estimated balance in the BSA under our recently published report, The 2019-20 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook.

In addition to this report, you can find the main California's Fiscal Outlook report along with a collection of other fiscal outlook material on our fiscal outlook budget page.

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Fiscal Outlook: In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

November 14, 2018 - In this web post we discuss our near- and long-term costs projections for the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program and significant cost drivers and savings.

In addition to this report, you can find the main California's Fiscal Outlook report along with a collection of other fiscal outlook material on our fiscal outlook budget page.

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Fiscal Outlook: Medi-Cal

November 14, 2018 - This web post provides detail on our projections and assumptions related to General Fund spending in Medi-Cal for the years 2018-19 through 2022-23. In the near term, we project Medi-Cal spending to grow to $23.9 billion in 2019-20. Over the long term, we project General Fund spending in Medi-Cal to grow to up to around $28 billion.

In addition to this report, you can find the main California's Fiscal Outlook report along with a collection of other fiscal outlook material on our fiscal outlook budget page.

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CalSTRS Funding Update

July 19, 2018 - In May 2018, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) released an update on the financial position of the pension system, which was largely in line with expectations. This post summarizes the update, which contains the latest estimates of the unfunded liability and contribution rates required for districts, employees, and the state.

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The 2018-19 Budget: The Administration's Proposition 55 Estimates in the May Revision

May 22, 2018 - This post describes the Proposition 55 calculation for Medi-Cal spending in the Governor’s May Revision.

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The 2018-19 May Revision: LAO Multiyear State Budget Outlook

May 17, 2018 - This post presents our office’s outlook for the condition of the state’s General Fund through 2021-22 based on the Governor’s 2018-19 May Revision proposals.

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The 2018-19 Budget: The May Revision—Health and Human Services (HHS)‑Related Funding to Address Homelessness

May 17, 2018 - The Governor’s 2018 19 May Revision proposes a package of actions and funding augmentations aimed at alleviating homelessness. Several of the major elements of the proposal are in the HHS area of the budget. Specifically, the proposals would: (1) create the Senior Home Safe program at the Department of Social Services (DSS), (2) augment the current California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Housing Support Program and CalWORKs Homeless Assistance Program at DSS, and (3) provide one-time funding to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for county mental health services. In this post, we describe these proposals and raise issues and questions for the Legislature to consider.

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The 2018-19 Budget: The May Revision—Deferred Maintenance

May 15, 2018 - The Governor’s May Revision includes $1.06 billion from the General Fund for deferred maintenance projects at various state departments. We recommend that the Legislature (1) adopt budget trailer legislation to create a separate account to fund one-time deferred maintenance projects in the future and (2) deposit into this account the amount of General Fund revenues it decides is consistent with its overall General Fund priorities—an amount that could be higher or lower than that proposed by the Governor. The Legislature could separately appropriate funds in 2018 19 for any projects it felt were well justified. We further recommend that the Legislature seek information from the administration regarding causes of deferred maintenance at individual departments, as well as longer-term plans to prevent deferred maintenance from continuing to accumulate.