Rise, Peak, and Decline: Trends in U.S. Immigration 1992-2004

Posted on September 29th, 2005 — in Demographics

Immigration is always a hot topic in California, and the Pew Hispanic Center draws two interesting conclusions. First, immigration to the United States has not been on a steady increase, but peaked in 1999 and 2000, at the height of the economic boom, but then dropped sharply as the economy went bust. Second, and even more interesting, is that immigration is shifting away from states with large foreign-born populations like California and New York and toward new settlement states such as North Carolina and Iowa.
Rise, Peak, and Decline: Trends in U.S. Immigration 1992-2004


PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on Californians and the Initiative Process

Posted on September 28th, 2005 — in Politics :: Polls and Surveys

Coming soon to your neighborhood: The Grinch Who Stole the Golden State. Grumpy California voters don’t like anything, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California. They think the special election is a bad idea, and of the five initiatives covered in the poll, not a single one hits the necessary 50 percent mark. Voters say they don’t approve of the president, the governor or the Legislature. They think the country is going in the wrong direction, the California economy is headed downhill and gas prices are likely to skyrocket. They’re concerned that Hurricane Katrina may cause a recession, and they’re less confident that the government can handle a major emergency. No questions about whether voters still like their mothers.
PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on Californians and the Initiative Process


Restoring the Competitive Edge: California’s Need for Redistricting Reform and the Likely Impact of Proposition 77

Posted on September 27th, 2005 — in Politics

Everybody talks about Prop. 77 — the redistricting measure — relative to legislative races. But an equally important impact is its effect on congressional boundaries. A new study from the Rose Institute of State and Local Government finds that the judicial redistricting process created by the initiative would result in 10 competitive congressional districts, more than in either the Assembly or the state Senate. Researchers predict seven competitive Assembly districts and eight tight Senate seats. Those are big increases, but still wouldn’t shift the balance of power in either house.
Restoring the Competitive Edge: California’s Need for Redistricting Reform and the Likely Impact of Proposition 77

For More Background, see the IGS “Hot Topic” on Prop. 77: http://igs.berkeley.edu/library/htRedistricting.html


California Spending Plan 2005-06

Posted on September 26th, 2005 — in Public Finance

┬áLess broke, not fixed. That’s basically the condition of the California state budget, according to the new annual summary by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the best and most neutral bean-counters in the business. The budget adopted by the Legislature and governor this summer will reduce the projected shortfall next year by about a third, but the gap is still a whopping $6 billion. There’s a lot here for numbers addicts.
California Spending Plan 2005-06


California Health Care Market Report 2005

Posted on September 25th, 2005 — in Health Care

HMOs were the story of the ’90s in health care, but perhaps their day is done. The California Health Care Foundation issues its annual report on health care in the state, and finds that HMO enrollment continues to decline. Even so, Kaiser still provides doctors for more than six million Californians, and constitutes, according to the report, “The World of Kaiser.”
California Health Care Market Report 2005


Proposition 74: Waiting Period for Permanent Teaching Status and Dismissal Procedures

Posted on September 24th, 2005 — in Education

Reporting that both sides of an ongoing political campaign may be hyperventilating is a little like discovering that the earth is round, but EdSource finds that in the dispute over Proposition 74 — the teacher tenure measure — everybody is speculating about the outcome. The initiative would lengthen a teacher’s probationary period from two to five years, but nobody really knows how that would effect the quality of the teaching force, nor even how many teachers would be affected.
Proposition 74: Waiting Period for Permanent Teaching Status and Dismissal Procedures

For More Background, See the IGS “Hot Topic” on Prop. 74: http://igs.berkeley.edu/library/htTeacherTenure.html


The Economic Impact of the Mexico-California Relationship

Posted on September 22nd, 2005 — in Demographics :: Economy and Business

Lots of people have complained over the years that immigrants are a costly drain on taxpayers in the United States. But researchers at the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute compile the economic numbers about the Mexican-Californian relationship, and according to their figures the costs aren’t really that large. They estimate that the state spends $179 million per year related to immigration from Mexico. The amount of money dropped in California every year by Mexican tourists: $1.5 billion.
The Economic Impact of the Mexico-California Relationship


Kids at Risk: Declining Employer-Based Health Coverage in California and the United States: A Crisis for Working Families

Posted on September 21st, 2005 — in Children and Families :: Health Care

If health insurance premiums continue to rise at the current rate, fewer than half of California’s children will be insured through a parent’s employer by 2010. That’s the startling finding from researchers at Working Partnerships USA and the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. But of course the costs to cover those children won’t disappear completely. Instead, more kids will be enrolled in public programs.
Kids at Risk: Declining Employer-Based Health Coverage in California and the United States: A Crisis for Working Families


Two Studies of Proposition 76

Posted on September 20th, 2005 — in Education :: Public Finance

Is Prop. 76 a budget reform or a budget cut? The California Budget Project says Prop. 76 would slowly erode state spending. If it had been enacted in 1990, for example, annual state spending would be $12.6 billion less than it is today. How deeply would we have to cut to reach that level? You could eliminate every penny the state spends on higher education and still be $2 billion short. Could Prop. 76 force those kind of draconian cuts in the future? And on roughly the same topic, EdSource finds that Prop. 76 could reduce spending on public education.
California Budget Project: Proposition 76′s New Spending Cap Could Require Substantial Spending Cuts
EdSource: Proposition 76: State Spending and School Funding Limits

For More Background, See the IGS “Hot Topic” on Prop. 76: http://www.igs.berkeley.edu/library/htSpendingLimits.html


California’s 10 Most Threatened Wild Places 2005

Posted on September 19th, 2005 — in Resources and Environment

What is the most endangered type of land in California? Our answer is “affordable residential lots,” but the California Wilderness Coalition is a little more environmentally minded. They cite 10 at-risk locations in an annual report, including the Owens Valley and the Salmon and Klamath rivers.
California’s 10 Most Threatened Wild Places 2005