2009-10 Budget Analysis Series: Resources

Miscellaneous Budget Proposals Not Justified

Based on our review of the Governor’s budget, we find the following budget proposals in various departments are not justified for the reasons specified. Therefore, we recommend the Legislature reject these proposals, which would result in the savings noted.


Implementation of Assembly Bill 2917—$270,000 General Fund, $40,000 Reimbursements. The department proposes an augmentation of $310,000 to comply with Chapter 274, Statutes of 2008 (Assembly Bill 2917, Torrico), which requires criminal history background checks for emergency medical technicians in the state. While the department is required to comply with this legislation, we find that it has proposed a relatively costly method to do so. Specifically, the department proposes to hire an outside medical director to oversee compliance. We recommend that the Legislature reject this proposal, and direct the department to resubmit its proposal after finding a more cost–effective way to comply with the law.

Public Utilities Commission

Implementation of Higher Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)—$322,000 Special Funds. State law currently requires investor–owned utilities to comply with an RPS requiring 20 percent of their electricity supplies to come from renewable energy sources by 2010. The Scoping Plan developed by the Air Resources Board to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals under Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32, Núñez), recommends that the state increase the RPS goal to 33 percent by 2020. While changes to the current RPS have not been enacted in law, the budget requests additional resources for CPUC to begin the process of implementing a 33 percent RPS in anticipation of enabling legislation. While this proposal may have merit, we recommend the Legislature deny it on the grounds that it is premature, pending enactment of the enabling legislation.

Department of Boating and Waterways

Monitoring and Prediction of Waves and Shoreline Change—$250,000 Special Funds. The Coastal Data Information Program is administered jointly by DBW and federal agencies through the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The program currently receives $500,000 from the Harbors and Watercraft Fund, which the budget proposes to augment by $250,000 on an ongoing basis. Federal funding from the Army Corps of Engineers is proposed to remain at approximately $1 million. The budget proposal suggests that, without increased state funding, additional federal funds may be lost. However, a proposal to receive increased federal funding to match the additional state funds has not been proposed in the budget plan. While this program may have merit, we do not find the increase in state funding to be justified at this time and we recommend rejection of the budget proposal.

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