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    • Headlines

      Six Ways States Should Spend Their Surpluses

      The Fiscal Times | by Eric Pianin and Rob Garver | February 4, 2014

      The nice thing about pension obligations is that they are extremely predictable and are therefore easy to plan for. The bad thing about them is that they don't go away. The bill is coming due, and states ought to dedicate some of their surpluses to making sure they will be able to pay it.

    • Headlines

      Battles Loom in Many States Over What to Do With Budget Surpluses

      The New York Times | by Rick Lyman | February 3, 2014

      After so many years of sluggish revenues, layoffs and draconian service cuts, governors and legislators are eager to use the newfound money to cut taxes, restore spending or, in some cases, pay down debts or replenish rainy-day funds for future recessions.

    • Headlines

      New data reveals amount of federal aid to states in 2012

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito, Shannan Younger | January 28, 2014

      Surprised to learn that state governments combined received 31.6% of their general revenue from the federal government in 2012, with one state getting a whopping 45.4% from the feds? Click here to learn what percentage of your state's general revenue came from Washington, D.C.

    • Headlines

      Unions Decline in Public Sector

      New York Times | by Associated Press | January 27, 2014

      The nation’s union membership held steady at 11.3 percent last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, but losses among state and government workers suggest an ominous trend for the future of organized labor. 

    • Headlines

      Education spending balloons, but students in some states get more money than others

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Reid Wilson | January 27, 2014

      There is disagreement within education circles over whether spending more money per pupil leads to better results. But there is no disagreement that the amount of money states spend on education has erupted in recent years.

    • Headlines : California

      California students sue state over ineffective teachers

      Washington Times | by Cheryl K. Chumley | January 24, 2014

      Nine California students have launched a lawsuit against the state, arguing that current law and entrenched practices they see as pro-union actually short-change the poor and the minority communities on their education.

    • Headlines

      How states spend their cash, in 5 maps

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Niraj Chokshi | January 24, 2014

      States spent more than they made for the third time in four years, according to new Census data.

    • Headlines : California

      Loan for bullet train part of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal

      The Los Angeles Times | by Ralph Vartabedian | January 23, 2014

      California would lend $29 million to the High-Speed Rail Authority. Financing proposals for the project have raised concerns from lawmakers, including a key bullet train supporter.

    • Headlines

      Data Shows Correlation Between Government Union Power and State Government Solvency

      Union Watch | by Mike Shedlock | January 23, 2014

      In terms of long-term solvency (the most critical issue), New Jersey and Illinois are at the bottom of the heap. Pension plans and union activism are to blame.

       

    • Headlines

      Unfunded public employee pensions drive state debts skyward

      The Washington Examiner | by Mark Tapscott | January 21, 2014

      State governments are piling up debt almost as fast as the federal government, with a total of $5.1 trillion now on their books.


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    • Budget timeframe: Annual

      Fiscal Year begins: July 1

      Find the legislative session calendar here.

      The current state budget can be found here.

      Find the current legislative leaders here.

       

      Jerry BrownGov. Edmung G. "Jerry" Brown
      State Capitol
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      Phone: (916) 445-2841
      Fax: (916) 445-4633
      http://gov.ca.gov/

       

       

       

       

       

      Ana Matosantos

       

      Ana Matosantos, Director of Finance
      Department of Finance
      915 L Street
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      Phone (916) 445-3878
      Fax: (916) 324-7311
      www.dof.ca.gov

       

       

      Want a more robust, long-term look at your state's fiscal health, beyond the budget? There are two parts: Click here for the FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government, and click here for information on the state's pension liabilities

       

      California is required to pass a "balanced budget." California Code Section 13337.5 of state law prohibits the annual budget act from authorizing expenditures in excess of revenues. In 2004 the Constitution was amended to include language to specifically prevent the presentation of a budget bill that would appropriate from the General Fund more than that Fund would receive in revenues. California law forbids the carrying over of a deficit from one year to the next. The State only budgets for expenditures, not revenues.

       

      The California Constitution limits appropriations to the appropriations limit from the previous year, adjusted for inflation and the change in population. This is commonly called "budgeting for fiscal discipline," and is a way to keep the growth of appropriations from outpacing the growth in revenues from year to year.
      Unfortunately, the most recently passed budget relies heavily on accounting maneuvers, including moving tax receipts from one year to a next and borrowing $5 billion against future lottery earnings. The lottery borrowing requires the approval of voters in a ballot measure in a special election the Spring of 2009. If the lottery plan is defeated, midyear cuts and other measures to rein in spending are likely. [from the Institute for Truth in Accounting]

       

      Find the state's bond ratings here.

      PRI Logo

       


    • Solutions

      How Reality-Based Budgeting Can Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | November 7, 2012

      State Budget Solutions recommends that state legislators take action in 2013 to resolve the serious state financial crises by changing their focus from inputs to outcomes by redesigning budgets from the ground up based on priorities and performance.

    • Solutions

      How to Prevent Future Pension Crises

      by Cory Eucalitto | November 1, 2012

      The time for state and local governments to offer defined contribution retirement plans that protect both taxpayer dollars and public employee retirement security is now.

    • Solutions: California

      Reform Before Revenue: How to Fix California's Retiree Health-Care Problem

      The Manhattan Institute | by Stephen D. Eide | October 31, 2012

      This paper examines the ongoing fiscal crisis caused by health-care plans for retirees (known as "other post-employment benefits," or OPEB) in one of the hardest-hit states, California, and outlines necessary reforms that should come before tax increases or cuts to government services.

    • Solutions

      State Lawmaker’s Guide to Evaluating Medicaid Expansion Projections

      The Heritage Foundation | by Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski | October 17, 2012

      Supporters of Obamacare claim that expanding Medicaid will entail little to no cost to state governments, since the federal government will fund the vast majority of the additional costs. Indeed, some analyses project states achieving savings from adopting the expansion. However, state lawmakers should be wary of accepting such analyses at face value.

    • Solutions: California

      Rising Pension Costs Threaten Cities’ Ability to Provide Services

      Hoover Institution of Stanford University | by Chuck Reed | October 16, 2012

      In June 2012, nearly 70% of San Jose voters approved "Measure B" - a set of pension reforms that the City Council placed on the ballot after more than 8 months of negotiations with our employee unions.

    • Solutions

      Medicaid Is Broken—Let the States Fix It

      The Wall Street Journal | by Paul Howard and Russell Sykes | October 15, 2012

      Block-granting Medicaid is the best way to deliver better, cost-effective care to the most vulnerable Americans.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Prisons

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012

      Prisons are supremely important, but they are also a supremely expensive government program, and thus prison systems must be held to the highest standards of accountability.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Adult Probation

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012
    • Solutions

      Solutions to the public pension crisis

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | August 1, 2012

      Public pensions at the state and municipal levels are unsustainable in their current form.  State Budget Solutions' recent study by Andrew Biggs found that public pensions are underfunded by $4.6 trilion. Here we offer solutions to the pension crisis

    • Solutions: California

      Road Map to Recovery

      Pacific Research Institute | October 31, 2011

      Document that outlines ten steps to return California to prosperity.


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