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The 2019-20 Budget: May Revision Multiyear Budget Outlook

May 17, 2019 - This report presents our office’s independent assessment of the condition of the state General Fund budget through 2022-23 assuming the economy continues to grow and all of the Governor’s May Revision spending proposals are adopted.

Report

The 2019-20 May Revision: Overview of the May Revision Proposition 98 Package

May 13, 2019 - In this post, we analyze the major changes related to Proposition 98 under the Governor’s May Revision. The first section provides background on the calculation of the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee and the Proposition 98 reserve. The next section describes the changes in the administration’s estimates of the minimum guarantee and Proposition 98 spending proposals. The last section provides our high-level assessment of these estimates and proposals.

Report

The 2019-20 Budget: Creating an Integrated Education Data System

May 6, 2019 - In this brief, we provide (1) background on the state’s education data systems and past efforts to connect them, (2) describe the Governor’s proposal to develop an integrated education data system, (3) assess the proposal, and (4) make associated recommendations.

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Improving California’s Prison Inmate Classification System

May 2, 2019 - In this report, we provide background information on CDCR’s inmate classification system, assess the current system, and recommend steps to improve it.

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Evaluation of Cal Grant C Program

April 30, 2019 - In this report, we evaluate the Cal Grant C program, as required by statute, and make a recommendation regarding whether the state should maintain it.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Community College Student Success Awareness Initiative

April 25, 2019 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposal to fund more student outreach regarding college affordability, career pathways, and transfer options at the California Community Colleges (CCC). Below, we (1) provide background on existing CCC programs related to these topics, (2) describe the Governor’s funding proposal and the CCC Chancellor’s Office’s plan to use the funds, (3) assess the proposal and spending plan, and (4) make an associated recommendation.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Student Food and Housing Insecurity at the University of California

April 25, 2019 - The Governor proposes to provide the University of California (UC) with ongoing funding to address student food and housing insecurity. UC indicates it would use the proposed funds either to augment student financial aid or support specific food and housing initiatives. In this brief, we provide background, then describe the Governor’s proposal. Next, we offer issues to consider and provide associated recommendations.

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The 2019-20 Budget: California State Library Local Assistance Proposals

April 25, 2019 - In this brief, we analyze the Governor’s proposals to provide one‑time General Fund for two local library initiatives—the Zip Books program and Lunch at the Library. We begin with an overview of the State Library and local libraries in California. We then describe and assess each proposal and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Hastings College of the Law

April 24, 2019 - In this brief, we provide background on the Hastings College of the Law, then describe the Governor’s proposed budget for the law school and the school’s proposed spending plan. Next, we provide our assessment of Hastings’ budget and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Reorganization of the Division of Juvenile Justice

April 10, 2019 - This report provides an overview of California’s juvenile justice system including DJJ and highlights several key questions raised by the Governor’s proposal for the Legislature to consider as the administration provides more detailed information on the proposal in the coming months.

Report

The 2019-20 Budget: Analysis of the Carve Out of Medi-Cal Pharmacy Services From Managed Care

April 5, 2019 - This report analyzes one of the two initiatives included in the Governor's executive order: to transition the pharmacy services benefit in Medi‑Cal, the state’s largest low‑income health care program, from managed care to entirely a fee‑for‑service (FFS) benefit directly paid for and administered by the state.

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A Review of LifeLine Budget Estimates and Enrollment Process

April 3, 2019 - The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC's) LifeLine program provides free or discounted phone service to about 1.7 million households and has an annual budget of more than $350 million. The Supplemental Report of the 2018-19 Budget Act requires our office to (1) review the caseload and budget estimates for this program and make recommendations about how CPUC could improve the accuracy of its estimates and (2) assess and make recommendations about ways to improve enrollment and re-enrollment in the program. This report fulfills those requirements.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Analysis of Proposed Increase in State Funding for Local Child Support Agencies

March 26, 2019 - In this report, we provide background on the current child support program. We then describe and assess the Governor’s 2019 20 proposal to create a new budgeting methodology that would increase funding for certain LCSAs by nearly $60 million General Fund. We recommend that the Legislature withhold action on the funding proposal until the administration submits the statutorily required report identifying potential state and local operational efficiencies.

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Older Youth Access to Foster Care

March 22, 2019 - The Supplemental Report of the 2018-19 Budget Act directed our office to submit a report to the Legislature reviewing data on the reporting of child abuse or neglect incidents among children who are aged 14 to 17 compared to younger children. In this report, we (1) describe how the state’s Child Welfare Services (CWS) system processes child abuse and neglect reports, (2) discuss observed similarities and differences in reporting outcomes between older and younger youth based on available data, (3) specify limitations in our ability to come to definitive conclusions regarding the treatment of reports for older youth compared to younger youth in the CWS system based on available data, and (4) provide recommendations for the collection of additional data to better understand the potential reasons for differences in outcomes between older and younger youth accessing foster care and determine whether policy interventions are appropriate.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Increasing Compliance With Unclaimed Property Law

March 15, 2019 - California requires banks, insurance companies, and many other businesses (called “holders”) to report and transfer to the state personal property considered abandoned by owners—this is called unclaimed property. Holder compliance with unclaimed property law is very low—likely around 1 percent. To address this problem, the Governor’s budget proposes allocating resources to the State Controller's Office (SCO) for more audits of potential holders. We agree with the Governor’s goal to increase holder compliance. However, the scale of SCO’s audits cannot address the vast holder under-compliance rate. To try to significantly increase holder compliance, this report presents policy options for legislative consideration.