February 16, 2016 - The Governor’s budget for 2016–17 proposes a total of $9 billion in expenditures from various sources for programs administered by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.
February 21, 2014 - In this report, we analyze the Governor's 2014-15 budget for the state's resources and environmental protection programs. We review and make recommendations on a number of major policy proposals, including a review of the administration's recently released Water Action Plan as well as the proposal to reduce or eliminate several programs currently funded by the Beverage Container Recycling Fund (commonly referred to as the "bottle bill"). We find that these policy proposals are generally reasonable approaches, though we identify trade-offs in the proposals and offer recommendations for legislative consideration. The report also identifies several issues included in the Governor's budget that merit additional legislative oversight. This includes the proposal to provide the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection with a total of $43 million from the General Fund to address deferred maintenance backlogs. While we find that it makes fiscal sense to address deferred maintenance, there is uncertainty about what factors have contributed to the large backlogs, as well as how the state can best address maintenance needs on an ongoing basis.
February 12, 2016 - We find the Governor’s deferred maintenance proposal addresses an important state need. However, we also find that it raises several issues for legislative consideration. Specifically, we find that it lacks critical details, fails to address the underlying causes of the state’s deferred maintenance backlog, and proposes a process for identifying deferred maintenance projects for funding that is inadequate.
February 16, 1999 - Analysis of the 1999-00 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter
February 19, 2015 - The Governor’s budget for 2015-16 proposes a total of $9.3 billion in expenditures from the General Fund, various special funds, bond funds, and federal funds for resources and environmental protection programs. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals related to these programs and recommend various changes.
February 19, 2013 - In this report, we review the Governor’s 2013-14 budget proposals for various resources and environmental protection departments and programs, including the Department of Water Resources, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of Parks and Recreation, California Energy Commission, and the Air Resources Board. We identify concerns with several of the proposals and make recommendations for legislative consideration. In some cases, we identify proposals that we think should be rejected or modified. In particular, we point out several budget proposals that would impact state expenditures in future years. We also note that the proposed budget includes several proposals to use certain revenues for different activities that may not be legally allowable given the revenue source. In addition, we identify several issues in the report that we believe merit greater legislative oversight, including a new surcharge on investor-owned utility electricity bills that the California Public Utilities Commission has been collecting since January 2012 without legislative authorization.
March 2, 2012 - The 2012-13 Governor’s Budget includes proposals to address some of the funding challenges currently faced by parks, including the continuation of the plan to close up to 70 state parks by July 2012. However, the Legislature and stakeholders have expressed interest in identifying alternative ways to prevent park closures and, more importantly, help ensure that the park system is adequately maintained and operated in the future. In this report, we evaluate various options that could be adopted to reduce costs or increase revenue for the state park system. Based on this analysis, we recommend specific steps to help maintain the park system, such as transferring the ownership of some state parks to local governments, eliminating the use of peace officers for certain park tasks, allowing private companies to operate some state parks, and increasing park user fees.
February 10, 2014 - In this report, we review California’s Five-Year Infrastructure Plan, the first statewide infrastructure plan released by the administration since 2008. We commend the administration’s renewed focus on infrastructure. We also find that the plan raises some important policy issues related to the financing and maintenance of state infrastructure and serves as a valuable starting point for legislative discussions. However, we note that the plan does not include some key information and suggest some changes that could make the plan more helpful to the Legislature. In addition, given the size of the state’s infrastructure investments and their long-term nature, we recommend that the Legislature take a more active role in considering infrastructure in a comprehensive way. In order to assist the Legislature, we suggest some broad questions it may find helpful in guiding future discussions. We further suggest that the Legislature consider how, as an institution, it addresses infrastructure issues—for example, by creating a joint infrastructure committee.
February 21, 2001 - Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter
March 7, 2019 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review, Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation
February 21, 2020 - While wildfires have always been a natural part of California’s ecosystems, recent increases in the severity of wildfires and the adverse impacts on communities have increased the focus on the state’s ability to effectively prevent, mitigate, and respond to wildfire risks. This report has two parts. First, we assess the state’s approach to addressing wildfire risks in light of the complex challenges that make an efficient and effective approach difficult. Second, we evaluate the Governor’s various wildfire‑related budget proposals in the absence of having a statewide strategic wildfire plan.