06/27/2019

News

Gov. Newsom Releases Revised ‘California For All’ State Budget

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday released a revised state budget proposal that prioritizes saving for a rainy day ­– putting a record amount into the state’s reserves and making billions in fiscal pay downs of pension debt. The revised budget also prioritizes one-time investments aimed at tackling the main issues driving California’s affordability crisis. “The […]

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More errors at the DMV: Thousands of customers can’t get licenses after paying early

Bogged down by long customer wait times, California’s Department of Motor last fall tried to ease the pressure in its offices by sending license renewal notices much earlier than usual. It backfired. The DMV sent renewal notices to Californians 120 to 150 days before their licenses were scheduled to expire. But the department’s technology could […]

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Hot air balloons took off from California veterans home without state noticing, audit finds

A Napa Valley veterans home once criticized for building an adventure park on its grounds has been allowing a golf course to offer hot air balloon rides for years without a lease permitting the rides, according to a state auditor’s report released Tuesday. The report draws attention to a mix of leases that the California […]

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Court says California violates rights of poor defendants by imposing fees

California is violating the rights of poor defendants by attaching fees to misdemeanor criminal convictions regardless of their ability to pay, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday. The ruling by the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles singled out payments imposed by state law to help fund court operations and maintain a statewide […]

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Finally, a Crackdown on Misuse of Taxpayer Money

Although state law specifically prohibits public officials from using taxpayers’ money for political campaigning, they have been doing exactly that throughout California. Local governments hire “consultants” to poll voters on what tax and bond measures they would find acceptable, to draft those proposals accordingly and, finally, to run so-called “information” campaigns to persuade voters to […]

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STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS’ FISCAL OUTLOOK: 2018 Update

What’s the prognosis for the fiscal health of state and local governments across the nation? Our annual outlook suggests the sector will have an increasingly tough time covering their bills over the next 50 years. Our model shows both revenue and spending will increase; however, spending will rise faster. Revenues may be insufficient to sustain […]

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Many States See Strong Revenue

States’ revenue collections are off to a strong start in the current fiscal year, building on gains pegged to the expanding economy and help from the federal tax overhaul. With most states nearing the midpoint of their fiscal years, which end June 30, at least 19 of them are seeing higher-than-expected general-fund revenue, according to […]

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Sac City Unified school district says it will be broke in November 2019

The Sacramento City Unified School District announced Wednesday it expects to run out of cash by November 2019 after months of financial crisis. In a statement sent to the community, the district said unless major savings are found, it will be unable to pay employees and make necessary purchases. The statement suggested that moving forward […]

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California’s Fiscal Outlook

The Budget Is in Remarkably Good Shape. It is difficult to overstate how good the budget’s condition is today. Under our estimates of revenues and spending, the state’s constitutional reserve would reach $14.5 billion by the end of 2019‑20. In addition, we project the Legislature will have an additional $14.8 billion in resources available to […]

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Rethinking the 1991 Realignment

1991 Realignment No Longer Meets Many LAO Principles. Due to the various changes to 1991 realignment programs without corresponding changes to the funding structure, 1991 realignment today no longer meets many of the core principles of a successful state‑county fiscal partnership. Today, counties’ share of some program costs exceeds their ability to control those costs. […]

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Dan Walters: State-county conflict could flare up again soon

Counties’ primary role as local service providers continued until the latter half of the 20th century, when they evolved, not always willingly, into managers of an ever-expanding array of health care and social services created by state and federal governments. This bifurcated role created obvious conflicts. Local services, such as parks and police and fire […]

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California Local Government Websites – A 2018 Report Card

Among the 250 cities analyzed, ranging from Suisun City with just over 29,000 residents, to big Los Angeles, with over 4.0 million residents, only two got the top grade of A, Rancho Palos Verdes, located in Los Angeles County, and Poway, located in San Diego County. Grades of F, on the other hand, were handed […]

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Sweet contracts, tricky rules help California unions hold on after court loss

Most public sector union contracts have clauses that prevent workers from quitting until the month before the labor agreement ends. Some unions earlier this year released new agreements that compel members to commit to membership for at least one year. Both of those membership clauses are intended to buffer unions from extreme swings in membership […]

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Meant to help with mental illness, money from tax on millionaires piles up

While the hepatitis A virus ran unchecked through the streets and homeless camps of San Diego last year, claiming 20 lives and sickening hundreds of others before it was corralled, $170 million in special funding for mentally ill people sat in a county bank account. So much Mental Health Services Act revenue piled up, San […]

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California state worker union accepts contract with 10 percent pay hike

A small California state employee union decided on Thursday that a contract with two more consecutive years of 5 percent raises was too good to pass up in the waning months of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration. The California Association of Professional Scientists approved the contract by a vote of 802 to 339. It will give […]

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