March 30, 2017 - Despite reaping regular benefits from county administration of elections, the state only sporadically provides funding to counties for election activities. The state has a clear interest in secure, timely, and uniform elections. We recommend the Legislature develop a new financial relationship between the state and counties to (1) direct statewide elections policy and (2) provide a reasonable and reliable level of financial support that reflects the benefits to the state of county elections administration. The pending implementation of a new voting model via 2016 legislation, SB 450, provides an opportunity for the Legislature to consider how to structure such a financial relationship to ensure consistency across counties as well as address other elections issues.
April 25, 2017 - In a Spring Finance Letter, the Governor proposes using remaining funds from a 2009 settlement agreement to provide the Secretary of State a three-year funding increase of $463,000 per year and three positions to support the agency’s activities related to the implementation of SB 450. We recommend that the Legislature (1) use this proposal and the implementation of SB 450 to reconsider the state’s role in paying for elections administration and (2) consider the appropriate level, duration, and source of funding to support the Secretary of State’s SB 450 activities.
May 13, 2022 - This post provides our comments and recommendation to approve the Governor's proposal to fund the prepaid postage mandate for vote by mail ballots.
January 13, 2016 - State law tasks the Commission on State Mandates with determining whether new state laws or regulations affecting local governments create state-reimbursable mandates. Typically, the process for determining whether a law or regulation is a state-reimbursable mandate takes several years. State law further requires our office to analyze any new mandates identified by the commission as a part of our annual analysis of the state budget. In particular, state law directs our office to report on the annual state costs for new mandates and make recommendations to the Legislature as to whether the new mandates should be repealed, funded, suspended, or modified. In this budget post, we discuss the Post Election Manual Tally mandate, which is the only newly identified state mandate since the 2015-16 Budget Act.