As the Obama administration continues its push for health-care reform, many have voiced concern over the economic cost of enacting health-care reform during a time of economic crisis. Looking at the issue from another angle, the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education examines health coverage trends to calculate the costs of not acting on reform proposals. By 2012, they predict a possible increase of 4.2 million uninsured working-age adults in the United States and 600,000 uninsured working-age adults in California over pre-recession 2007 levels.
[Public Policy Institute of California]
Federal welfare funding in California is dependent on a percentage of adult welfare recipients being employed at least part-time or engaged in “work-related activities.” A work participation rate under 50% can result in a loss of federal funding. Recent statistics indicate California falls far short of that rate. In this report, PPIC examines the potential effects of proposed policy changes (increasing the severity of sanction and time-limit policies) to improve this rate.
[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.
Since 1973, six statewide special elections have been called (three of them since 2003). The Public Policy Institute of California looks at the issues, voter turnout and final results for each.
Water shortages, a longer forest fire season, and significant cropland loss could be in store for California as the climate warms in the coming decades, according to a new report. The Climate Action Team Report examines the impact of global warming on California’s public health,
infrastructure, and natural resources — and warns that “severe and costly climate impacts are possible and likely across California” if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed.
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.
Proposition 1A would make significant changes to the size of the state’s reserve (“rainy day”) fund, and place new restrictions on its use. The California Budget Project examines the proposition’s complex formulas, and describes its potential impact on state budgeting practice and existing state programs.
Mean for California?
[California Budget Project]
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.
- Proposition 1A: State Finance
- Proposition 1B: Education Finance
- Proposition 1C: California State Lottery
- Proposition 1D: Budget Act of 2008. California Children and Families Act: Use of Funds: Services for Children.
- Proposition 1E: The Mental Health Services Act: Proposition 63 Amendments
- Proposition 1F: State Officer Salary Increases
The Legislative Analyst’s Office has released analyses of each of the six measures on the May 19 special election ballot. Each report includes background, a detailed description of the measure, and both short- and long-term fiscal effects.