Economic Crisis as a Catalyst for Reform

Posted on April 10th, 2009 — in Public Finance :: State Budget :: Taxes

An Economic Backdrop for Fiscal Reform in California
[California Forward and Beacon Economics]

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.

California’s fiscal constraints

Posted on April 1st, 2009 — in Public Finance :: State Budget

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.

State spending, from Wilson to Schwarzenegger

Posted on April 1st, 2009 — in Governor :: Public Finance :: State Budget

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.

Impact of Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Posted on March 18th, 2009 — in National Affairs :: Politics :: Public Finance

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.

LAO Recommends New Bonds for Road Projects

Posted on December 19th, 2008 — in Public Finance :: Transportation

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.

A Dollar Here, A Dollar There…

Posted on December 18th, 2008 — in Public Finance :: State Budget

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.”

Bond Issue Primer

Posted on October 12th, 2006 — in Growth, Development & Infrastructure :: Politics :: Public Finance

The basics on the infrastructure bonds, from the California Budget Project.

The Public Works Bond Package

Local Governments in Better Shape

Posted on September 27th, 2006 — in Public Finance

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

Bond Basics

Posted on September 19th, 2006 — in Public Finance

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.

Financing Infrastructure

Water Bonds

Posted on September 5th, 2006 — in Politics :: Public Finance :: Resources and Environment

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has produced a summary of Proposition 84, a $5.4 billion water bond on the November ballot.

Proposition 84