February 17, 2017 - In this report, we (1) provide background information on the state’s major transportation programs and funding sources, (2) describe the Governor’s proposed 2017‑18 transportation package including how the increased funding would be allocated, and (3) provide a road map to assist the Legislature in making certain key decisions it will face in developing a transportation package.
January 25, 2011 - Recently, the Legislature enacted a package of changes known as the “fuel tax swap” to achieve General Fund relief. However, the passage of ballot measures in November 2010 potentially undoes portions of the tax swap package. In response to these ballot measures, the Governor’s January 2011-12 budget proposes statutory changes to recapture the use of transportation funds to help balance the state’s budget. In this brief we describe and evaluate these recent changes and the Governor’s proposal. We also provide additional options that the Legislature may wish to consider that offer more solutions to achieve General Fund relief.
February 11, 2022 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposed one-year fuel tax holiday. This proposal presents the Legislature with a tradeoff between reducing fuel expenses and funding state highway projects.
May 16, 2022 - On May 13, 2022, Governor Newsom presented a revised state budget proposal to the Legislature. (This annual proposed revised budget is called the “May Revision.”) In this brief, 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. The information presented in this brief is based on our best understanding of the administration's proposals as of 11:00 AM, May 14, 2022. In many areas of the budget, this understanding will continue to evolve as we receive more information. We only plan to update this brief for very significant changes (that is, those greater than $500 million).
Update (5/20/22): Updated to reflect information about state appropriations limit (SAL) excluded spending and other budget proposals.
September 17, 2020 - The state has experienced reductions in gasoline and other tax revenues that support California's transportation system. This post discusses these declines and the potential effects on major state transportation programs.
February 24, 2023 - In this brief, we analyze the Governor's proposal to extend certain vehicle fees (known as "AB 8" fees) that fund clean transportation activities that are scheduled to sunset at the end of 2023.
December 7, 2010 - On December 6, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency and called the new Legislature into special session to address the anticipated 2010‑11 General Fund deficit—estimated by our office at $6.1 billion. The Governor’s special session proposals would decrease the gap between General Fund revenues and expenditures by $1.9 billion in 2010‑11 and by $8 million in 2011‑12, thereby reducing the $25.4 billion budget problem that we have identified to $15.5 billion. The Governor's proposals consist of $7.4 billion of expenditure-related reductions and two major revenue proposals. Essentially all of these proposals were rejected earlier this year by the prior Legislature. The Governor also proposes to transfer vehicle weight fee revenues to the General Fund. This would achieve an estimated $850 million in budget solutions in 2010‑11 and $727 million in 2011‑12 by reimbursing the General Fund with weight fee revenues for certain transportation bond debt service costs, and also loaning a portion of the weight fee revenues to the General Fund. Under the proposal, the fuel tax revenues that would have helped the General Fund prior to Proposition 22 would now be available for transportation programs.
January 24, 2020 - SB 1 has increased state funding for local streets and roads by $1.3 billion—a doubling of the previous level of shared revenues—with additional revenue increases projected in current and future years.
June 8, 2017 - In April 2017, the Legislature enacted Chapter 5 (SB 1, Beall), also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act. The administration estimates this legislation will increase state revenues for California’s transportation system by an average of $5.2 billion annually over the next decade. In this report, we (1) provide a brief background on the state’s transportation system, (2) describe the major features of the transportation funding package contained in the legislation, and (3) discuss issues for the Legislature to consider moving forward.
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?
February 12, 2019 - Presented to: Assembly Health Committee, Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services, Senate Committee on Health, and Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services
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.