Legislative Analyst's Office

Analysis of the 2000-01 Budget Bill
Departments Disregard
Legislative Directive

Departments within the Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies have generally disregarded legislative directive to provide program and expenditure information. The lack of information hinders the Legislature's oversight of state programs. We recommend that the Legislature withhold action on the budgets of the Secretaries for Resources and Environmental Protection (Cal-EPA) pending submittal of previously requested supplemental reports by the agencies and their constituent departments and boards.

We further recommend that where a required supplemental report would provide supporting information for particular budget proposals, those proposals be denied absent the required report.

Additionally, we recommend that instead of adopting supplemental language directing departments to provide information at a future time, the Legislature disapprove any funding requests for which the departments fail to sufficiently respond during the budget hearing process to the Legislature's concerns.

In the Supplemental Report of the 1999 Budget Act , the Legislature directed various departments within the Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies to report on a number of their programs and activities. The Legislature's purpose in requesting these reports was to exercise legislative oversight by holding the departments accountable for their use of funds and staff in achieving statutory objectives and goals. Many of these reports were required to be submitted by early January 2000 in order to provide the Legislature with pertinent information as it reviews the 2000-01 budget. Figure 1 (see next page) lists the departments, reports, and their due dates, as well as the status of those reports.
Figure 1
Resources and Environmental Protection Departments

1999-00 Supplemental Report Requirements


Due Date Status
Resource Secretary
  • Long-term funding
1/10/2000 Received
  • Santa Monica Bay
1/10/2000 Not received
Cal-EPA Secretary
  • Environmental justice
9/1/99 Not received
  • Agency structure
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Agency funding review
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Santa Monica Bay
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Scientific peer review
Quarterly Not received
  • Enforcement
1/10/2000 Not received
Colorado River Board Quarterly Received
Conservation 10/1/1999 Received
Fish and Game
  • NCCP
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Species mitigation
1/10/2000 Not received
  • AB 3158 fees
11/1/1999 Not received
Coastal Commission 1/10/2000 Received
Parks and Recreation
  • Staffing
9/1/1999 Not received
  • Routine maintenance
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Deferred maintenance
1/10/2000 Not received
Bay Conservation and Development Commission 1/10/2000 Received
Air Resources Board
  • Economic analysis
10/1/1999 Not received
  • PM 2.5
10/1/1999 Not received
California Integrated Waste Management Board
  • IWMA implementation
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Tire remediation
9/1/1999 Received
Pesticide Regulation
  • Performance measure
1/1/2000 Not received
State Water Resources Control Board
  • Water quality monitoring
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Water discharge inspections
1/10/2000 Not received
  • MTBE contamination
10/1/1999 Not received
Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • Oil refineries inspection
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Toxic exposure at schools
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Vacancy rates
10/1/1999 Not received
Office of Emergency Health Hazard Assessment
  • Public health goals
1/10/2000 Not received
  • Public health goals
10/1/1999 Not received
a As of January 31, 2000.

Reasons for Information Requirement and Nature of Information to Be Submitted. In reviewing the 1999-00 budget for resources and environmental protection programs, the Legislature expressed concerns over the adequacy of funding for a number of programs. It also was concerned with the level of activities being carried out under these programs. In particular, the Legislature was concerned that environmental protection laws and requirements were not being fully enforced. As a result, the Legislature adopted numerous supplemental report requirements directing departments to report on the funding levels, statutory requirements, and workload of a number of programs.

For example, the Secretary for Cal-EPA is required to report on the funding provided for environmental protection programs to ensure that those activities posing the greatest environmental and public health risks are given priority for funding. The State Water Resources Control Board is directed to report on the watershed and coastal resources where ambient surface water quality monitoring has been conducted, provide a plan for a program to monitor ambient surface water quality and groundwater quality, and identify how the 2000-01 Governor's budget proposal addresses that plan.

Similarly, the Department of Fish and Game is directed to report on the funding and staffing level needed to implement a program to monitor species for which the department has statutory management responsibilities and to mitigate adverse impact on these species. The Department of Parks and Recreation is directed to report on the total funding necessary to cover the costs of regularly scheduled, routine maintenance of its properties and facilities.

Departments Generally Disregard Legislative Directive; Legislature's Program Oversight Reduced. As Figure 1 shows, at the time this analysis was prepared, most of the required reports had not been submitted. The failure to meet the reporting requirements shows a general disregard of legislative directive on the part of the administration. Additionally, the lack of information hinders the Legislature's ability to evaluate the departments' budget needs, assess their performance, and hold the departments accountable for their performance.

Reports Submitted Do Not Respond to Directive. In the few instances where reports were submitted, we found that they often are not responsive to the directive and provide little useful information sought by the Legislature. For instance, the Resources Agency was directed to provide an estimate of the funding needed by the agency and its constituent departments to comply with statutory requirements, and make recommendations on funding adjustments. While the report was submitted on time, the report did not address the issues raised, and provided little useful information to assist the Legislature.

Analyst Recommendations. It is important that the Legislature have a means of obtaining information it deems necessary to make policy and budget decisions. In view of the general lack of regard for legislative directive to provide information in these program areas, we recommend the Legislature do the following:

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