Bleak Prognosis for Health-Care Coverage

Posted on May 4th, 2009 — in Health Care :: Social Policy

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.

Welfare and Work Participation

Posted on May 4th, 2009 — in Children and Families :: Employment :: Social Policy

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.

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.

Recent special elections in California

Posted on April 10th, 2009 — in Ballot Measures :: Elections and Voting

Just The Facts: Special Elections in California [Public Policy Institute of California]

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.

Effects of global warming in California

Posted on April 8th, 2009 — in Politics

Climate Action Team Report [Climate Action Team]

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.

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.

Looking at Proposition 1A

Posted on April 1st, 2009 — in Ballot Measures :: Elections and Voting :: State Budget

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.

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.

May 19, 2009 Proposition Analyses

Posted on February 27th, 2009 — in Ballot Measures :: State Budget

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.