The Department of Finance one of the most powerful offices in state government, is known for its dual roles as the governor’s chief fiscal policy adviser and administrator of the state budget. The department manages the state’s vast purse strings.
But this spring, Finance officials went to the Legislature with something new: an eight-year, $1.3 billion request of their own. And they got a lesson in the power of the purse.
They proposed replacing the state’s scattered, 1970s-era financial systems in favor of one master system for over 100 agencies. It was rejected in Assembly and Senate subcommittees.
John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, and chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, felt that “while there is merit in updating these systems