Looking at trends in employment, income, consumer spending, and housing, California Forward predicts that the state’s budget crisis will be longer and more difficult than generally anticipated. Forecasting a drop of 11% over the next two years in the state’s three major revenue sources (sales and use taxes, income taxes, and corporate taxes), the authors argue that more serious, systemic reforms are necessary to prevent further fiscal turbulence.
The record setting budget stalemate of 2008 has revived the debate over requiring the budget to pass with two-thirds legislative majority. Public Policy Institute of California looks at this and other fiscal policy restrictions, finding that California ranks first among states in the number and types of constraints it places on taxing and spending.
As legislators grapple with the state’s current fiscal crisis, Adam Summers’ report looks back at the policy decisions that led to this point. Analyzing the budgets and spending patterns of previous three governors, he asserts that excessive spending (not lack of revenue) is to blame for the state’s historic budget deficit, and makes recommendations for reform.
The California Budget Project has created a table describing many of the provisions in the $787 billion stimulus package that will benefit California. Details for each provision include program area, purpose, and estimated impact in California.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office proposes the use of revenue bonds backed by future gas tax revenues to accelerate 122 highway rehabilitation projects. If the Legislature agrees, look for a ballot measure seeking voter approval.
Martha Jones of the California Research Bureau reports on where state funds are spent, and documents an uneven distribution across regions. Data collection problems abound. Among her findings: “there seems to be a growing disconnect concerning the amount of local assistance reported by the state in the Governor’s Budget compared with the amount of state or federal aid reported as received by local jurisdictions.”
The basics on the infrastructure bonds, from the California Budget Project.
The Public Works Bond Package
More than 70 percent of city officials in California say their cities are in better fiscal shape this year than last. And more than 60 percent predict an even rosier picture next year. This from a survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Perspectives on Local and State Finance and Infrastructure in California
With the voters facing more than $40 billion in bond issues on the November ballot, the Public Policy Institute of California has a primer on bond financing.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office has produced a summary of Proposition 84, a $5.4 billion water bond on the November ballot.