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California

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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.

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    • 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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    • California

      Some Good News, and Some Big Challenges, for State Pension Funds

      KQED.com | by Dan Brekke | January 16, 2014

      Beyond the CalPERS report, though, looms the reality that the state's public sector retirement funds are still facing hundreds of billions of dollars in future retirement obligations that it hasn't yet figured out a way to pay for.

    • California

      Brown budget plan faulted on bullet train, teacher pensions

      The Los Angeles Times | by Chris Megerian | January 14, 2014

      Legislative analyst praises Brown for paying down debt and adding to a reserve fund, but says more should be put into teacher pensions and calls bullet train funding risky.

    • State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report

      by Cory Eucalitto | January 8, 2014

      State governments face a combined $5.1 trillion in debt, equal to over $16,000 per resident. Click to see your home state's debt and how your state ranks.

    • Pension Woes Have Cities, States Eyeing 401(k) Style Plans

      Fox Business | by Dunstan Prial | December 20, 2013

      San Diego is at the forefront of a controversial push by municipal and state governments to replace traditional public employee pensions with 401(k) plans that depend on the fortunes of the stock markets rather than the continued largesse of taxpayers.

    • The Hidden Danger in Public Pension Funds

      The Wall Street Journal | by Andrew Biggs | December 16, 2013

      Pensions are larger and their investments riskier than at any point since public employees began unionizing in earnest nearly half a century ago.

    • Public pension cuts seem here to stay

      BenefitsPro | by Steven Lang | December 12, 2013

      One needs look no further than Wall Street. Early signs indicate at least some are just fine with this plan to ease municipal financial pain.

    • California, Michigan

      Bankrupt Detroit can cut pensions; implications big for California

      The Fresno Bee | by Dale Kessler | December 5, 2013

      Bottom line: It’s no longer realistic to assume public pensions are inviolable.

    • California

      San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed's state ballot measure opposed by 19 mayors

      The San Jose Mercury News | by Mike Rosenberg | November 27, 2013

      Many of the opponents are labor-backed Democrats from small towns, and several of them are relying on donations and support from public employee unions as they run for re-election or higher office.

    • California

      Fixing California: Report ignores state’s vast pension liabilities

      The San Diego Union-Tribune | November 22, 2013

      The 62-page Legislative Analyst's Office report mentions the state's massive unfunded liabilities for the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System only briefly. A more thoughtful assessment would have mentioned those liabilities on nearly every page.

    • Loop Report: Few States Improved Funded Status Of Pension Plans

      The Bond Buyer | by Naomi Jagoda | November 22, 2013

      Only a few states improved the funded status of their pension plans in fiscal 2012, Loop Capital Markets said in its 11th annual public pension funding report, released Thursday.


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