Shocking Increase In Corrections Salary Spending

Dear Legislators, At $7.3 billion, current year salary spending on Corrections employees is 33% higher than forecast by last year’s budget and nearly 50% more than the prior year. This isn’t small change. $7.3 billion is more than twice the $3 billion you awarded the entire Judicial Branch. Even before you and the governor granted … Continue reading Shocking Increase In Corrections Salary Spending

AB 1400

Dear Legislators, >90 percent of Californians have health insurance. To reach 100 percent, Governor Newsom proposes expanding Medi-Cal to all income-eligible residents, which would turn California into a multi-payer universal coverage system not unlike the systems of Netherlands and most of Europe.* In contrast, three state legislators have introduced AB 1400, a bill to establish … Continue reading AB 1400

Our View Of Governor’s Proposed 2022-23 Budget

Earlier this week DOF released the Governor’s Proposed Budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. At 400 pages it takes time, a process we have now completed. Some initial thoughts follow:There’s a good deal to like, including: A proposal to extend preventative Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible residents that would make CA a multi-payer … Continue reading Our View Of Governor’s Proposed 2022-23 Budget

Governor’s Proposed Budget

Tomorrow the CA Department of Finance will release the “Governor’s Proposed Budget” for the 2022-23 fiscal year that commences July 1. At nearly 300 pages, it is one of two documents providing deep insight into the state government.* I’ve been reading them for nearly two decades now and offer a few tips: Pay little attention … Continue reading Governor’s Proposed Budget

A Medicare Approach For CA Schools

Whenever I use Medicare, the government pays a health provider of my choice even if the provider is not operated by the government. The same goes for Medicaid, which uses public funds to pay for the care of 15 million Californians. Likewise, anyone obtaining premium support through Covered California gets to choose among insurance providers. … Continue reading A Medicare Approach For CA Schools

Assembly and Senate 2022-23 Budget Blueprints

Dear Legislators, We enjoyed reading the Senate Budget Plan and Assembly Budget Blueprint for 2022-23. These items stood out to us: We are pleased the Assembly proposes to “scrutinize prison operations.” With the inmate population below 100,000 yet prison staff positions at 55,000 costing $5.5 billion in salary and billions more in benefits, scrutiny is … Continue reading Assembly and Senate 2022-23 Budget Blueprints

Stress Testing In Sacramento

Dear Legislators, In January the Department Of Finance will issue the Governor’s Budget for 2022-23. No section will be more important than the Stress Test, which forecasts revenue losses in the event of a stock market decline such as in 2001-3 and 2008-9. Last January, the Governor’s Budget forecast revenue losses of $100 billion. Just … Continue reading Stress Testing In Sacramento

LAO’s Impossible Task

Dear Legislators, The Legislative Analyst’s Office is filled with talented people who occasionally take on impossible tasks. Take LAO’s recent Fiscal Outlook for Schools in which it boldly predicts that “capital gains revenue [will be] strong in 2022-23.” I can’t predict the stock market next week much less next year but unlike the state I’m … Continue reading LAO’s Impossible Task

CA Needs $100 Billion In Reserves

Dear Legislators,California needs at least $100 billion of reserves. Don't take our word for it. See page 245 of the Governor's Budget: “Revenue losses in this recession forecast would total over $100 billion (an average of over $30 billion per year) for three years, continue with more years of revenue declines in the range of … Continue reading CA Needs $100 Billion In Reserves

Covered California Stands Out Again

November 1 marked the commencement of the Open Enrollment period during which residents can purchase health insurance for the upcoming year and another opportunity to praise Covered California, the state’s healthcare exchange that’s an exemplar of government services well provided. At a time when even the New York Times is cynical about blue state performance, … Continue reading Covered California Stands Out Again