February 1, 2021 - In this report, we offer the Legislature guidance on how to evaluate fiscal stimulus proposals. We pose six key questions to ask when assessing specific proposals and provide specific elements that can be incorporated into proposals to increase their potential effectiveness.
February 13, 2020 - This report assesses the Governor’s major 2020-21 budget proposals related to climate change. The four proposals we evaluate are the Governor's (1) cap-and-trade expenditure plan ($965 million), (2) expanded climate adaptation research and technical assistance activities ($25 million), (3) new Climate Catalyst loan fund ($250 million), and (4) climate bond ($4.75 billion).
December 10, 2008 - As part of his 2008–09 special session package, the Governor proposed to speed up construction of $822 million in planned state transportation projects. We believe that the concept of accelerating transportation projects has merit. We offer an alternative approach that we believe would provide greater benefits with a similar amount of funding. Specifically, we recommend the use of revenue bonds backed by future gas tax revenues to accelerate 122 highway rehabilitation projects. These projects would be ready for construction in 2008–09, 2009–10, and 2010–11, but are not scheduled for construction until later years, due to limited funding. Our bond proposal would require voter approval. Accordingly, we recommend the Legislature place a measure on the next ballot to seek voter approval to issue $800 million in gas tax revenue bonds to fund these projects.
February 22, 2022 - This brief provides overarching comments on the Governor's $2 billion clean energy package and recommendations related to a few of the proposed programs.
March 1, 1995 - The 1995-96 Governor's Budget proposes a 15 percent across-the-board income tax cut for both corporations and individuals, along with maintaining the high-income tax rates scheduled to sunset in 1996. The plan's stated purpose is to reduce the tax burden on individuals and businesses in California so as to stimulate business location and expansion in the state, thereby improving the economy.
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.
August 8, 2023 - The Legislature recently adopted a package of bills aimed at expediting infrastructure projects. In this post, we provide a summary of the key components of the bills that comprise this infrastructure package, including provisions related to legislative oversight. We conclude by identifying key issues for the Legislature to consider as it oversees the implementation of this legislation.
January 21, 2016 - In this report, we describe and assess the relationship—from both a legal and policy perspective—between the cap–and–trade regulation and the auction revenues that are generated as a result of the program.
August 23, 2017 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation
August 24, 2017 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review, Subcommittee No. 2
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 25, 2020 - In this report we assess several of the Governor's 2020-21 budget proposals in the natural resources and environmental protection program areas. This includes reviews of the Governor's proposals related to the Department of Toxic Substances Control, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.