Summary of LAO Findings and Recommendations on the 2013-14 Budget

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Budget Issue
LAO Finding Or

Last Updated
See Detail  California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) CPUC's external auditing functions Request the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to direct the Bureau of State Audits to conduct an audit of CPUC's processes for auditing accounts of entities that it regulates for regulatory and tax purposes, specifically utility balancing accounts. 2-21-13
See Detail  Energy and Resources Conservation and Development Commission Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Absent legislative authorization of EPIC, reject Governor's January budget proposal to provide $192 million and 58.5 positions to implement the EPIC program. 2-21-13
See Detail  Air Resources Board Cap-and-trade auction revenues Reflect legislative priorities for cap-and-trade auction revenues in budget. Given that such revenue must be used to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, seek Legislative Counsel advice and consider any potential legal risks. 2-21-13
See Detail  California Public Utilities Commission High-speed rail safety standards Reject Governor's January budget proposal to provide $300,000 (Public Transportation Account) for three permanent positions to develop new safety standards for high-speed rail. The requested funding is premature as there is no plan to operate a high-speed train service in California before 2021. 2-21-13
See Detail  Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Provides five positions and $649,000 for the identification of disadvantaged communities Seek guidance from Legislative Counsel on the appropriateness of the proposed fund source because there may be some legal concerns with using cap-and-trade revenue for this purpose. 2-20-13
See Detail  State Conservancies No proposal Due to diminishing availability of bond funds for conservancies, recommend directing the Natural Resources Agency to prepare a report by January 1, 2014 that evaluates the advantages, disadvantages, and cost implications of various options for reorganizing of the state’s 10 conservancies. 2-20-13
See Detail  Timber Harvest Regulation Increase timber harvest program regulation by 49.3 limited-term positions and $6.8 million. Approve request for funding from the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund for two limited-term positions for Natural Resource Agency and approve 47.3 of the requested positions on a permanent basis because workload associated with the program is consistent and ongoing. Permanent positions will also attract a stronger candidate pool. 2-20-13
See Detail  Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Civil cost recovery program Approve position authority, but withhold funding until legislationis passed to enable the use of the State Responsibility Area Fire Fund for this activity. If additional legislation is not passed, recommend using General Fund to support these positions. 2-20-13
See Detail  Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Fire prevention and implementation of Chapter 311 Withhold until proposed trailer bill is passed to enable the use of the State Responsibility Area Fire Fund for some positions, and additional information from CalFire is available. 2-20-13
See Detail  Department of Parks and Recreation $1 million in funding for the maintenance of the Goat Canyon Sediment Basins Withhold funding until DPR provides evidence that other fund sources cannot be used for this purpose, since the State Park Recreation Fund is the primary funding source for park operations. 2-20-13
See Detail  Department of Pesticide Regulation Increased funding of $788,000 and five positions for the evaluation of registered pesticides Approve four positions and the related funding of $683,000. Reject one position and the related funding of $105,105 associated with enforcement because the department was unable to demonstrate increased workload for enforcement activities. 2-20-13
See Detail  Wildlife Conservation Board and State Coastal Conservancy Proposition 117 funding Withhold until May Revision. Environmental bond funds may be available to meet Proposition 117 funding requirements instead of $21 million General Fund as proposed in the Governor's budget. 2-20-13
See Detail  Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) Mussel Infestation Prevention Program Approve DFW position on a half-year basis at a cost of $75,000 from Harbor and Watercraft Revolving Fund because the position will not be needed until the grant applications are reviewed in late 2013-14. 2-20-13
See Detail  Department of Water Resources Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Program Deny $472.5 million from Proposition 84 for grant awards. Funding is not needed in the budget year because awards will not be made until 2014-15. 2-20-13
See Detail  Department of Water Resources Lake Perris Dam Remediation Deny $11.3 million in funding from Proposition 84 because DWR has not fully analyzed alternatives. Direct DWR to report on estimated cost (including state cost) of alternatives to the proposed remediation, including a recreation-only facility, a smaller-capacity lake, and decommissioning the dam. 2-20-13
See Detail  Natural Resources Agency and Department of Water Resources (DWR) Management of Bond Funds for Resources and Environmental Protection Direct Natural Resources Agency and DWR to report at budget hearings on slow bond fund spending. Hold oversight hearings to identify possible legislative actions to accelerate flood control and Integrated Regional Water Management program spending. Evaluate all reappropriation requests in budget hearings. 2-20-13