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Proposed Changes to Veterans Home in Yountville

March 6, 2018 - The Governor’s 2018-19 budget proposes $15.7 million General Fund for the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to conduct a preliminary study to construct a new skilled nursing and memory care facility at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville. In addition, the Governor’s budget proposes to convert double occupancy rooms to single occupancy rooms in the domiciliary care unit at the Yountville veterans home. In this analysis, we (1) provide a brief background on the veterans home system, (2) describe the Governor’s proposal, and (3) provide our recommendations.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Grant Delivery System Replacement

March 6, 2018 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposal to provide $7.4 million in 2018-19 for the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to contract for a new Grant Delivery System. Below, we first provide background on the Grant Delivery System. We then describe and assess the Governor’s proposal and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Evaluating FI$Cal

March 2, 2018 - In this analysis, we describe the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal) Project and the major changes to the project based on the newly released Special Project Report (SPR). We also describe the Governor’s 2018-19 budget proposal to fund activities associated with the new SPR at the State Controller’s Office. Finally, we make associated findings and recommendations.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Fire Recovery Proposals

March 1, 2018 - The Governor’s budget assumes $760 million in additional General Fund will be needed in 2017‑18 for response and recovery associated with the 2017 fires in Northern and Southern California, $388 million of which will be reimbursed by the federal government in 2018‑19. For 2018‑19, the Governor proposes a total of $35 million from the General Fund for recovery costs associated the fires in Northern California, such as related to rebuilding public infrastructure and backfilling local tax revenue losses. While we do not raise specific concerns about the administration’s funding requests, we recommend that the Legislature direct the administration to report at budget hearings on the proposed funding and submit formal proposals for any future budget-year funding requests. We also recommend that the Legislature consider its priorities for allocating assistance to local governments affected by disasters and longer-term strategies for reducing future wildfire risk, such as strategies to improve forest health.

Correction (3/12/18): When this post was originally published, Figure 1 displayed the wrong graph. The correct graph is now in place.

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2018-19 Fire Response and Recovery

March 1, 2018 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review

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The 2018-19 Budget: The Administration’s Proposition 55 Estimates

March 1, 2018 - Proposition 55 (2016) aimed to increase funding for Medi-Cal under a formula administered by the Department of Finance. In 2018-19, the first year of implementation of this calculation, the administration’s interpretations and estimates result in no additional funds to Medi-Cal. Two key choices lead to this result. First, the administration’s decision to subtract $3.5 billion from available revenues to account for its proposed optional reserve deposit significantly reduces the calculation’s starting point, eliminating a surplus that would have directed funds to Medi-Cal. Second, the administration’s workload budget approach is based on a broad definition of currently authorized services, which also has the effect of reducing the amount of potential funds for Medi-Cal under the measure. Different decisions about these two features of the measure could result in more or less funding for Medi-Cal by hundreds of millions—or even billions—of dollars in the future.

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Overview of Special Education Funding in California

February 28, 2018 - Presented to Senate Committee on Education;Assembly Committee on Education;Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education; and Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance

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History of Special Education Funding in California

February 27, 2018 - This post traces the history of state special education funding in California to better inform conversations about how this funding might be allocated going forward.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Criminal Justice Proposals

February 27, 2018 - The Governor’s budget proposes a total of $17.2 billion from various fund sources for judicial and criminal justice programs in 2018‑19. This is an increase of $302 million, or 2 percent, above estimated expenditures for the current year. The budget includes General Fund support for judicial and criminal justice programs of $13.9 billion in 2018‑19, which is an increase of $270 million, or 2 percent, over the current‑year level. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the judicial and criminal justice area and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of the report.

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Overview of Proposition 98 Budget Proposals

February 21, 2018 - Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance

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Overview of High School Career Technical Education

February 21, 2018 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Education; Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance; Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy; and Assembly Select Committee on Career Technical Education and Building a 21st Century Workforce

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The 2018-19 Budget: California Competes Proposal

February 21, 2018 - The Governor proposes extending the California Competes tax credit for five years. We recommend rejecting the administration’s proposal to extend the California Competes tax credit because of problems that are inherent in and unavoidable for these types of programs. If the Legislature chooses to extend California Competes, we offer several suggestions that may alleviate some of its problems.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Department of General Services

February 20, 2018 - This analysis includes reviews of the following 2018‑19 budget proposals for DGS: (1) the construction of three state office buildings in the Sacramento area—Richards Boulevard, Bateson, and Unruh projects; and (2) Zero-Emission Vehicles.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Analysis of the Health and Human Services Budget

February 16, 2018 - In this report we provide a broad overview of the Governor's health and human services budget, highlighting major year-over-year changes. We then provide a more in-depth analysis of select programmatic areas.

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The 2018-19 Budget: County Assessor Funding

February 15, 2018 - The Governor proposes to create a three-year grant program to distribute $5 million per year to select county assessors to cover the majority of the cost of new staff and information technology upgrades. In general, there are good reasons for the state to provide funding to county assessors. We, however, suggest the Legislature consider an alternative grant program. Specifically, we suggest allocating the funding to county assessors to cover a certain portion of one-time costs for information technology upgrades.