May 7, 1998 - Much of the variation in county revenues stems from taxation decisions of a generation ago and the extent of development today. The fundamental dilemma of counties remains: (1) counties have little control over their expenditures or revenues, and (2) county supervisors are elected locally, but have few tools to respond to local preferences. Ultimately, we believe the Legislature will need to broadly reexamine county government responsibilities and finance.
January 2, 2013 - With a state as big, as populous, and as complex as California, it would be impossible to quickly summarize how its economy or state budget works. The purpose of Cal Facts is more modest. By providing various "snapshot" pieces of information, we hope to provide the reader with a broad overview of public finance and program trends in the state. Cal Facts consists of a series of charts and tables which address questions frequently asked of our office.
February 5, 2018 - Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage.
2/5/18: Correction to Figure 3.
December 3, 1997 - The state currently makes 26 of the state's National Guard armories available as temporary homeless shelters during the winter months. Our review suggests that the most appropriate role for the state in seeking alternatives to the use of the armories is to help facilitate the local development of new shelters.
January 22, 1992 - The child support enforcement program could be improved by changing the existing set of incentives that affect decision making on program funding. To accomplish this, we present two options for the Legislature. Under the first option, the responsibility for administration and funding of the program would be transferred from the counties to the state. In the second option, the state would provide a state-funded incentive payment to augment program funding, based on each county's efficiency as measured by the ratio of the marginal increase in child support collections to the marginal increase in administrative costs.
November 18, 2015 - California's state budget is better prepared for an economic downturn than it has been at any point in decades. Under the main economic scenario in this year's LAO Fiscal Outlook, 2016-17 would end with reserves of $11.5 billion, assuming the state makes no new budget commitments through next year. If the economy continues to grow through 2019-20, annual operating surpluses and larger reserves could materialize, and there may be capacity for some new budget commitments—whether spending increases or tax reductions. An economic or stock market downturn, however, could occur during our outlook period. To illustrate this economic uncertainty, we provide projections under alternative scenarios such as a hypothetical recession that causes budget deficits to re-emerge. The more new budget commitments are made in 2016-17, the more likely it is that the state would face difficult choices—such as spending cuts and tax increases—later.
October 24, 1995 - (1) Proposition 62 Voter Approval Requirements Upheld, and (2) Economic and Revenue Developments