Legislative Analyst's Office

Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill

Department of Fair Employment and Housing (1700)

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) enforces laws that promote equal opportunity in housing, employment, and public accommodations, and that protect citizens from hate violence. Specifically, DFEH has responsibility for enforcing the state's main equal opportunity law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and resolving complaints in a timely manner.

The budget proposes expenditures of $22.4 million ($18.3 million from the General Fund and $4.1 million federal funds) for support of the department in 2001-02. This represents an increase of $363,000 (1.6 percent) over estimated current-year expenditures.

Insufficient Justification of Increased Funding

We recommend the Legislature delete a total of $151,000 and two positions because the department has not provided workload information for the requested positions. (Delete $151,000 in Item 1700-001-0001.)

No Workload Data for Restrictive Covenant Program. The budget includes $151,000 from the General Fund for two positions to administer a new restrictive covenant identification service, as authorized by Chapter 291, Statutes of 1999 (AB 1493, Nakano). Restrictive covenants under this program are those that limit property ownership based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, marital status, disability, national origin, and ancestry, and violate the state's fair housing laws. Under this program, the department, upon request by property owners, reviews property deeds to determine if they contain racially restrictive covenants. According to the department, caseload tracking and processing will need to be developed for this activity. However, the department has provided no workload data indicating the number of requests expected under the program or the amount of time it will take to process the requests. Until the department begins administering the program, it is not clear that additional staff or resources are required. We recommend the department implement the program using existing resources during the budget year and evaluate the workload during that time. If sufficient workload develops, a future request for staff and resources may be justified. Consequently, we recommend the Legislature delete $151,000 and two positions in Item 1700-001-0001.

Return to General Government Table of Contents, 2001-02 Budget Analysis