A Day in the Life. . .
A "day in the life" of a LAO analyst varies significantly because of the cyclical nature of our work. So, a day in
January would be very different from a day in May or a day in
The Governor’s annual budget proposal is released on January 10. In response, our office prepares the Analysis of the Budget Bill which is released in late February. As a result January is one of our busiest periods.
8 a.m. to noon: In office. Review some of the Governor's budget change proposals (BCPs) that our office received as part of the Governor’s January 10 budget package. I only get through six of the ten that I received in my subject areas.
Noon to 1:15 p.m.: Having developed many questions about each of the BCPs that I received, I begin making phone calls and sending out emails to try to get additional information from the respective agencies and departments. Set up a conference call for tomorrow with the director of financial management and program staff to discuss some of the BCPs.
1:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Grab a quick bite to eat.
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Meet with a legislative member's personal staff to discuss the Governor's plan to provide health care for all as proposed in his January 10 budget.
3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Meet with the Department of Finance to discuss their revenue estimates for all of the major tax revenue streams.
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Finish preparing and emailing questions to other agencies with respect to the Governor's BCPs.
7:45 p.m.: Home.
The Governor updates his January 10 budget proposal in May each year with the release of the May Revision. As a result, May is another one of our busier periods and a typical day might include:
8 a.m. to 10 a.m.: In office. Review and prepare my notes for testifying based on the LAO recommendations we developed in response to the Governor’s budget proposals included in the May Revision for the Office of Emergency Services and Office of Homeland Security.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Testify at the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee #4 on the Office of Emergency Services and Office of Homeland Security May Revision proposals for port and mass transit security. Testify also on the Secretary of State’s proposals to address funding for elections.
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Lunch.
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Meet with LAO colleagues to discuss our position on the Governor’s budget proposals contained in the May Revision for Anti-Gang efforts. The funding proposed for the various anti-gang efforts crosses over between the Department of Justice, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Office of Emergency Services, and so involves several LAO staff.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Meet with LAO colleagues to discuss our position on the Governor’s Williamson Act Subventions for Open Space proposal. The policy issues driving this proposal require us to consider our office’s general position on tax relief policy and our office’s approach to conservation-related proposals. This discussion will involve several LAO staff and potentially management.
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Prepare for tomorrow’s testimony to the Assembly on a report that LAO released in January (A Report on Tax Agency Information and Data Exchange, http://www.lao.ca.gov/2007/tax_agencies/Tax_Agencies_012307.pdf) and the departments’ actions since then to comply with the recommendations contained in that report. Also, prepare testimony for other issues in my subject area that are likely to be discussed during tomorrow’s hearing.
5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Respond to emails from legislative consultants and departments regarding our recommendations on the Governor’s proposals contained in the May Revision.
6 p.m.: Home.
An average day in September would include:
8:15 a.m.: In office. Listen to voice mail and make a note to myself to return a call to a lobbyist with information about his client who is a contractor to the Franchise Tax Board (one of the departments that I am responsible for).
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Review amendments to legislative bills in my subject area; answer emails; read the Roundup (a daily news publication about the Capitol) and Governing Magazine (a daily publication about policy news around the country). Mention in an email a potential opportunity for a LAO special report to my supervisor.
10 a.m. to Noon: Perform analyses using data I obtained from the Department of Finance to update information on tax revenues and other related programmatic issues for CalFacts, a publication LAO produces every two years.
Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunch.
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Prepare a response to a legislative member’s request for information and analysis on health care insurance tax revenues and tax expenditures. This will have to be reviewed by my supervisor before we can send it out.
3 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.: Take a break. Grab an afternoon coffee or go for a quick walk around the capitol.
3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.: Work on an in-depth report that examines the effectiveness of various tax expenditure programs. Consider various recommendations that could be included in the report to improve certain programs.
5:15 p.m.: Home.