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 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 9, 2015 - The Governor’s budget proposes $125 million from the General Fund to address deferred maintenance backlogs in state facilities managed by various departments. The budget does not identify specific projects that would be supported with the proposed funding. We find the Governor’s focus on deferred maintenance to be positive. However, we also find that the proposal lacks important details necessary to evaluate the proposed allocations to departments, and that the proposed process for allocating funds does not provide the Legislature with an adequate opportunity to review proposed deferred maintenance projects prior to passage of the budget. Additionally, the Governor’s proposal fails to identify and address the underlying causes of departments’ deferred maintenance backlogs. Accordingly, we provide recommendations to address these concerns, promote legislative oversight in this important area, and ensure that the projects that are funded align with legislative priorities.
February 8, 2019 - The Governor’s budget includes over $600 million from the General Fund and Proposition 68 for deferred maintenance projects at various state departments. We recommend that the Legislature require (1) departments receiving funding to report at budget hearings on the approach they will use to prioritize projects, as well as specific projects they plan to undertake; (2) the Department of Finance to report, no later than January 1, 2023, on which projects departments ultimately undertook with the funds provided; and (3) departments that continue to experience growth in deferred maintenance backlogs over the next few years to identify the reasons for the increases and the specific steps they plan to take to improve maintenance practices on an ongoing basis.
April 11, 2014 - Due to a combination of poor budgeting practices and competing funding priorities, all of the state's education segments currently have a backlog of deferred maintenance projects. The Governor’s budget includes a package of proposals to begin addressing this backlog. While we commend the administration for highlighting deferred maintenance as a problem, we have concerns with the Governor's specific proposals and recommend the Legislature consider various alternatives. Looking beyond 2014-15, we believe the state should have a long-term strategy for properly maintaining education facilities. While a one-size-fits-all response very likely is not appropriate for such a diverse array of education segments, segment-specific plans likely could be very helpful. To this end, we recommend the Legislature require the education segments to develop plans that detail how much they set aside annually for scheduled maintenance, how they plan to eliminate their existing deferred maintenance backlogs over the next several years, and how they plan to avoid creating new backlogs thereafter. (In contrast to the other segments, we believe the state should not impose additional maintenance requirements on elementary and secondary schools at this time. The different approach for schools acknowledges the state’s recent decision to shift fiscal decision making and accountability for many aspects of schools’ operations—including maintenance—to the local level.)
January 27, 2021 - This publication provides an overview of the Governor's 2021-22 January budget proposals for the Department of Water Resources, including $284 million for flood management and $60 million to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
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 22, 2005 - Two of the most important water policy issues facing the state today are how to address what has been characterized by the administration as a “crisis” in flood management and how to finance the $8.1 billion CALFED Bay-Delta Program (CALFED). We analyze a Department of Water Resources White Paper recently submitted to the Legislature on addressing the state’s flood management challenges and make recommendations for legislative action. We also analyze a ten-year finance plan for CALFED that the budget indicates will be incorporated in the Governor’s May Revision. We find that the finance plan’s revenue assumptions may be unrealistic. As a result, the Legislature will need to establish its expenditure priorities so that the program can be “right sized” consistent with those priorities.
February 19, 2019 - In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the judicial and criminal justice area and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of the report.
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 16, 1999 - Analysis of the 1999-00 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter
March 1, 2016 - In this post, we provide recommendations on the following Governor’s Office of Emergency Services budget proposals for 2016-17: (1) Deferred Maintenance and (2) Emergency Operations and Critical Infrastructure Support.
February 12, 2020 - In this analysis, we assess the Governor’s 2020‑21 budget proposals for the Department of General Services (DGS). Specifically, we review and make recommendations regarding the Governor’s proposals for (1) additional staff for Contracted Fiscal Services (CFS) workload, including the establishment of a new strike team to assist departments performing accounting activities with the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal); (2) renovating the Resources, Bateson, and Unruh buildings, and (3) funding elevator and fire system‑related deferred maintenance projects.
February 21, 1996 - The current system of funding ongoing maintenance and deferred maintenance creates counterproductive fiscal incentives that encourage the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges to defer needed maintenance. We recommend specific steps the Legislature should take to resolve the existing backlogs in deferred maintenance and the underfunding of regular maintenance.