May 12, 2021 - In this analysis we examine what is known about the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on local governments’ fiscal condition.
May 17, 2021 - On May 14, 2021, Governor Newsom presented a revised state budget proposal to the Legislature. (This annual proposed revised budget is called the “May Revision.”) In this post, we provide a summary of the Governor’s revised budget, focusing on the overall condition and structure of the state General Fund—the budget’s main operating account. In the coming days, we will analyze the plan in more detail and provide additional comments in hearing testimony and online.
May 4, 2021 - In the coming months, the Legislature will face important decisions over how to use California’s share of the state fiscal recovery funds included in the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Estimated at approximately $26 billion, the recovery funds should go a long way toward covering the state’s direct and indirect costs arising from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Moreover, beyond a relatively broad set of pandemic-related parameters, the ARP likely provides states with considerable flexibility over how to allocate the funds, presenting the Legislature with a unique opportunity. In this post, we lay out some guiding principles for the Legislature to consider as it formulates a plan for using the fiscal recovery funds.
April 21, 2021 - This report: (1) describes how appropriations limits work for the state, school districts, and local governments in California; (2) explains why the limit is a constraint for state government; and (3) concludes with a variety of short- and long-term policy options—both of which we think the Legislature will need to take—in response to the issue.
April 3, 2020 - This post in our COVID-19 series on federal actions affecting California summarizes federal financial assistance provided to businesses.
May 6, 2021 - On March 11, 2021, the President signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP Act)—a $1.9 trillion coronavirus disease 2019 relief package. This post highlights the health-related provisions of the ARP Act that provide significant funding directly to state/local health care and public health agencies, rural hospitals, home- and community-based services programs, subsidized individual market health coverage programs, and public behavioral health services. Where possible, based on currently available information, we provide an estimate of the funding allocations to California governments and other entities in the state. While this post reflects our best understanding of the high-level content and implications of this legislation as of late April, we will update the post as new information and clarifications become available.
April 29, 2021 - Since March 2020, the federal government has passed three relief packages that assist K-12 schools and child care providers in their response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This post provides a brief summary of how the three federal relief packages affect K-12 education and child care and describes how the state has used these federal funds, as of April 2021.
March 20, 2023 - This brief provides updates on federal and state broadband programs and projects, including the state’s 2021 broadband infrastructure spending plan, and considers the proposed delays of broadband infrastructure funding in the Governor’s 2023-24 budget.
October 27, 2021 - Each year, our office publishes the California Spending Plan to summarize the annual state budget. This publication provides an overview of the 2021-22 Budget Act, then highlights major features of the budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
May 3, 2021 - The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is the third piece of federal legislation that provides substantial COVID-19 relief funding directly to colleges and universities. This post recaps the key elements of the first two rounds of relief funding, then describes the key elements of this third round.
May 24, 2021 - The administration’s 2021-22 May Revision proposes up to $7 billion (federal and state funds) over two fiscal years to fund state broadband infrastructure projects and programs. In this post, we provide our preliminary comments on this proposal, reflecting our understanding of the proposal as of Sunday, May 23, and provide options for legislative consideration.
October 27, 2021 - As part of the 2021‑22 spending plan, the administration and the Legislature agreed to spend $6 billion ($1.7 billion General Fund) over three fiscal years (starting in 2021‑22) on broadband infrastructure. Of the $6 billion, $4.372 billion is appropriated in 2021‑22—$4.322 billion in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) fiscal relief funds and $50 million General Fund. This post details the key actions and events that preceded the 2021‑22 budget agreement, outlines the agreement (including a breakdown of the 2021‑22 appropriations), and describes key components of accompanying changes in state law—Chapter 112 of 2021 (SB 156, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review). We note that while the administration and the Legislature are considering other broadband-related changes through administrative action and the legislative policy process, this post focuses on broadband infrastructure funding in the spending plan.
March 18, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation Hon. Philip Y. Ting, Chair
May 8, 2020 - This report provides an update on the budget’s condition in light of the public health emergency and economic downturn associated with the coronavirus disease 2019. Our outlook presents two potential scenarios—a somewhat optimistic “U-shaped” recession and a somewhat pessimistic “L-shaped” recession—and assumes a baseline level of expenditures. Under these two scenarios, the state would have to address an $18 billion or $31 billion budget problem. The state’s newly emergent fiscal challenges are likely to extend well beyond the end of the public health crisis. Under both of our economic scenarios, budget deficits persist until at least 2023-24 with multiyear deficits summing to $64 billion in the U-shaped recession and $126 billion in the L-shaped recession.
October 18, 2021 - The 2021‑22 budget package provides a total of $21.7 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, bond funds, and various special funds—for programs administered by the California Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. This is a net increase of $4.8 billion (22 percent) compared to 2020‑21 estimated expenditures.
Correction 10/22/21: Funding amount for CDFW has been corrected.
April 5, 2020 - In recent weeks Congress has passed legislation that has directed funding to respond to the coronavirus emergency. This post discusses how some of the major pieces of funding could affect the state budget’s overall condition. In particular, we focus on how funding could help the state address some of the sources of a budget problem that could emerge as a result of the coronavirus emergency.