February 16, 2022 - The Governor’s budget funds three UC climate‑related proposals focused on research, technology incubators, and workforce development. This post analyzes these proposals. It begins with a brief background section on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in California. It then has three sections analyzing each of the proposals in turn. This post is a companion to our main brief on UC budget issues, The 2022‑23 Budget: Analysis of Major UC Proposals.
April 28, 2020 - This post summarizes recent federal legislative and other actions to allocate funding to California and other states in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Figures in this post summarize—as comprehensively as was feasible—the amount of funding that we expect to flow to governments and other public entities in California from the federal government. We also describe the major COVID-19-related federal funding that we expect to flow directly to private Californian entities, such as individuals and businesses.
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.
April 4, 2018 - This report consists of five sections. First, we review the importance of and benefits provided by California’s forests. Second, we provide information regarding how forests are managed in California, including ownership, state and federal policies and programs, and funding. Third, we review the current conditions of forests and watersheds across the state, including the concerning implications and recent consequences of those conditions, as well as the actions that would be needed to make improvements. Fourth, in the findings section, we highlight shortcomings in how the state manages its forests and watersheds. Fifth, we offer recommendations for actions the Legislature could take to improve forest and watershed management in California.
May 10, 2022 - The Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is tasked by state law to support statewide planning and research activities. Among its many activities, the office has overseen certain higher education initiatives. This post analyzes three higher education OPR proposals in the Governor’s January budget for 2022‑23 related to the California Education Learning Laboratory, the Golden State Awards, and Carnegie Science.
January 5, 2021 - This report is intended to provide guidance for the Legislature on how to evaluate the merits of state-funded green stimulus proposals. When reviewing such proposals, the Legislature faces two basic questions to evaluate whether they are worth pursuing: (1) what effects is the proposal likely to have on certain short-term economic conditions, such as employment and economic output; and (2) what short- and long-term environmental benefits could the proposal achieve?
February 22, 2023 -
This report describes the Governor’s proposed budget solutions within climate, resources, and environmental programs, and provides the Legislature with a framework and suggestions for how it might modify those proposals to better reflect its priorities and prepare to address a potentially larger budget problem.
Correction (4/27/23): The amounts in Figure 1 for Wildfire and Forest Resilience and Nature-Based Activities and Extreme Heat have been corrected.
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.
May 13, 2020 - This post describes the major research and development provisions of recent federal relief measures. It also highlights some key issues for the Legislature to consider relating to research and the state budget.
March 10, 2009 - The recently enacted federal economic stimulus package commits a total of $787 billion nationwide. We estimate that California will receive over $31 billion in monies that can be used to address budget shortfalls and supplement existing state spending and billions more in competitive grants. The recently enacted state 2009-10 budget specifies that if the amount available to address the state's budgetary problems is less than $10 billion, then annual state program reductions of nearly $1 billion and revenue increases of about $1.8 billion will go into effect. Based on the enacted state 2009-10 budget we estimate that $8 billion would be available. Given the state’s continuing economic struggles, however, it may be possible to use additional federal education dollars for budgetary relief. We identify key issues that the Legislature should consider in making decision regarding these new federal funds, including ways to maximize their benefit to the state General Fund and to provide appropriate oversight on the use of the federal monies.
February 19, 2003 - A number of departments engage in resource assessment activities intended to determine the condition of natural resources in the state. We review several such activities and identify opportunities for funding shifts and program reductions, some of which will create savings. We also discuss opportunities to increase the value of the information collected.