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The 2019-20 Budget: Using Proposition 56 Funding in Medi-Cal to Improve Access to Quality Care

February 22, 2019 - This report analyzes the use of Proposition 56 (2016) funding in Medi‑Cal to improve access to quality care. First, we provide background on how Medi‑Cal services are financed within Medi‑Cal’s multiple delivery systems. Then, we review how access and quality are monitored, primarily within Medi‑Cal’s managed care delivery system. We summarize how Proposition 56 funding in Medi‑Cal has been used to date, and the changes proposed under the Governor’s 2019‑20 budget. Next, we assess Medi‑Cal managed care plans’ performance on selected state access and quality standards. Finally, we provide issues for consideration and recommendations on how to use Proposition 56 funding in Medi‑Cal going forward to improve access to quality care.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Higher Education Analysis

February 21, 2019 - In this report, we analyze the Governor's higher education budget proposals.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Considerations for Governor's Proposals to Address Homelessness

February 21, 2019 - In this report, we describe the Governor’s proposed $625 million appropriation for various programs aimed at addressing homelessness. Specifically, the Governor proposes (1) planning and production grants to local governments, (2) expanding the Whole Person Care pilot programs, and (3) funding the Housing and Disability Advocacy Program on an ongoing basis.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Considerations for the Governor's Housing Plan

February 20, 2019 - In this report, we describe the Governor’s proposed $1.75 billion appropriation for various programs aimed at improving the affordability of housing in the state. Specifically, the Governor proposes (1) providing planning and production grants to local governments, (2) expanding the state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, (3) establishing a new state housing tax credit program targeting relatively higher-income households, and (4) expanding a loan program for middle-income housing production.

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The 2019-20 Budget: What Can Be Done to Improve Local Planning for Housing?

February 20, 2019 - As part of the 2019‑20 Governor’s Budget, the administration proposes changing state oversight of local housing decisions and proposes offering rewards to cities and counties to encourage them to plan for and approve housing. To help the Legislature in its consideration of the Governor’s proposals, this report: (1) explains the existing process through which local communities plan for housing, as well as its limitations and shortfalls; (2) describes the Governor’s proposal; (3) provides recommendations on the parts of the proposal aimed at increasing home building in the short term; and (4) offers a package of changes to improve the state’s existing long‑term planning process for housing.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Analysis of Governor's Criminal Justice Proposals

February 19, 2019 - 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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The 2019-20 Budget: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection

February 14, 2019 - In this report, we assess several of the Governor’s budget proposals in the natural resources and environmental protection areas. Based on our review, we recommend various changes, as well as additional legislative oversight. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Department of Consumer Affairs

February 13, 2019 - In this analysis, we assess the Governor’s 2019‑20 budget proposals for the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). Specifically, we review and make recommendations regarding the Governor’s proposals (1) for increased funding for Consumer Affairs administration workload and (2) associated with the department’s updated business modernization plan for information technology (IT) projects at Release 3 boards and bureaus.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Department of State Hospitals

February 13, 2019 - The Governor’s budget proposes $2 billion for the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) in 2019‑20—an increase of $59 million (3 percent) from the revised 2018‑19 level. In this report, we assess four specific DSH proposals and offer recommendations for legislative consideration.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Analysis of the Medi-Cal Budget

February 13, 2019 - In this report, we describe the major changes and proposals in the Governor's proposed $100.7 billion (all funds) Medi-Cal budget. Specifically, we advise the Legislature to seriously consider renewing the managed care organization tax, despite the Governor not proposing to do so; present issues for consideration related to the Governor's proposed expansion of comprehensive Medi-Cal coverage for young adults regardless of immigration status; and provide an initial assessment of the Governor's proposals to use Proposition 56 funding in Medi-Cal to extend and expand provider payment increases. We recommend approval of the Governor's proposals to improve fiscal oversight of the Medi-Cal budget, and also recommend that the Legislature require the administration provide additional information to the Legislature in an effort to improve fiscal oversight and transparency of this very large, complex budget going forward.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Proposition 98 Analysis

February 13, 2019 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s Proposition 98 budget package. The first four sections of the report focus on the architecture of the Proposition 98 budget, with an overview of the new Proposition 98 spending the Governor proposes, an assessment of the Governor’s estimates of the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee, a discussion of several factors that could affect the Legislature’s Proposition 98 budget planning in the coming months, and an assessment of the Governor’s proposal relating to Proposition 98 true‑ups. We dedicate the five remaining sections of the report to examining the Governor’s major proposals involving K‑12 education. Specifically, we analyze his proposals for (1) the Local Control Funding Formula, (2) special education, (3) county offices of education, (4) education mandates, and (5) school facilities.

(2/14/19 -- Adjusted when Proposition 51 funding would be exhausted given proposed pace of bond sales.)

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The 2019-20 Budget: Deferred Maintenance

February 8, 2019 - The Governor’s budget includes over $600 million from the General Fund and Proposition 68 for deferred maintenance projects at various state departments. We recommend that the Legislature require (1) departments receiving funding to report at budget hearings on the approach they will use to prioritize projects, as well as specific projects they plan to undertake; (2) the Department of Finance to report, no later than January 1, 2023, on which projects departments ultimately undertook with the funds provided; and (3) departments that continue to experience growth in deferred maintenance backlogs over the next few years to identify the reasons for the increases and the specific steps they plan to take to improve maintenance practices on an ongoing basis.

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The 2019-20 Budget: The Governor's Individual Health Insurance Market Affordability Proposals

February 7, 2019 - This report provides our assessment of the Governor's proposals to (1) create a state requirement that most Californians purchase health insurance coverage (referred to as an "individual mandate") or pay a financial penalty and (2) use the revenues from this penalty to fund additional health insurance subsidies for households purchasing coverage through Covered California.

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California's Education System: A 2019 Guide

February 6, 2019 - This report is a visual guide that covers every major area of California’s education system, with chapters on early education, K-12 education, adult precollegiate education, undergraduate education, graduate education, and education facilities. Throughout the report, we rely almost entirely upon state and federal government data sources and cite the most readily available data. Within each chapter, we tend to focus on the students who are served, the state programs designed to serve them, the funds supporting those programs, how program funding is spent, and what is known about outcomes in that area. As you journey through the report, you will be exposed to information on everything from student diversity and achievement gaps, to student aid and borrowing, to faculty salaries and rising pension costs, to the requirements for becoming a teacher or doctor in California. We hope the report is a helpful reference guide for you.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Structuring the Budget: Reserves, Debt and Liabilities

February 5, 2019 - This report considers the overall structure of the Governor’s budget to evaluate how well it prepares the state to address a future budget problem. We begin with background to explain the state budget structure, budget problems, and options for addressing budget problems. We also provide background on the state’s existing reserves and debts and liabilities. We then present some key considerations as the Legislature considers its overall budget structure. Finally, we present and assess each of the Governor’s major budget reserve and debt and liability proposals and offer some alternatives for legislative consideration.

2/5/19: Corrected total of state spending deferrals in Figure 5.