9. Mac Taylor
After 40 years at the Office of the Legislative Analyst and a decade as its chief, Mac Taylor is retiring at the end of the year. He’s largely unknown to the general public, but his departure is a big deal in the Capitol. Taylor is the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser, and he and his staff are indispensable. Their chief target is the state budget, but they also analyze ballot initiatives and economic trends, among myriad other chores. His LAO career included stints as a program analyst, section head and deputy assistant analyst before being named head legislative analyst in 2008. Taylor also serves on the Statewide Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonprofit dedicated to providing lawmakers and the public with nonpartisan public policy analyses. Every controversial state budget-related issue of the last decade wound up on Taylor’s desk at one point or another. He’s only the fifth person to serve as Analyst in the office’s 77-year history.
Updated Aug. 15, 2018