Back to the Report

More publications like . . .

Federal Spending in California


Post

The 2022-23 Budget: UC Climate-Related Proposals

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.

Post

Federal COVID-19-Related Funding to California

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.

Post

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.

Report

Improving California's Forest and Watershed Management

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.

Post

The 2022-23 Budget: Office of Planning and Research Higher Education Proposals

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.

Report

A Framework for Evaluating State-Level Green Stimulus Proposals

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?

Report

The 2023-24 Budget: Crafting Climate, Resources, and Environmental Budget Solutions

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.

Report

[PDF] The 2013-14 Budget: Resources and Environmental Protection

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.

Report

The 2020-21 Budget: Overview of the Governor's Budget

January 13, 2020 - This report presents our office’s initial assessment of the Governor’s budget. We estimate the Governor had a $6 billion surplus to allocate to discretionary purposes in 2020-21. The Governor allocates most of the surplus toward one-time purposes, including maintaining a positive year-end balance in the state’s discretionary reserve. Under the administration’s estimates, total reserves would reach $20.5 billion at the end of 2020-21—this represents a $1.7 billion increase from the 2019-20 enacted level. California continues to enjoy a healthy fiscal situation. Despite its positive near-term picture, the budget’s multiyear outlook is subject to considerable uncertainty. In addition to describing the condition of the budget under the Governor’s proposal, this report discusses tools the Legislature can use to mitigate against these heightened risks.

January 20, 2020: Upon further review, one item included in the original version of Appendix Figure 3 on discretionary on health spending should not have been included (specfically, use of the Medi-Cal drug rebate fund to offset General Fund costs). Removing this item—which reduces General Fund spending—from the list of discretionary choices made in the Governor’s budget increases our calculation of the surplus to $6 billion. The document is updated to reflect these changes.

Update 1/24/20: Adjusted Judicial Branch items in Appendix Figure 1 to reflect ongoing spending.

Post

Overview of Federal COVID-19 Research Funding

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.

Report

2009-10 Budget Analysis Series: Federal Economic Stimulus Package—Fiscal Effect on California

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.

Report

Resource Assessments: Improving Effectiveness and Creating Savings

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.