Posts Tagged: analyst

Analysis

LAO in retrospect: A conversation with Elizabeth Hill

Former Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill at one of her last official budget briefings. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Elizabeth Hill became the first woman to head the California Legislative Analyst’s Office in 1986 when she was eight months’ pregnant with her second child. For 22 years, she held one of the most important positions in state government — advising the 120-member Legislature during fractious times and sometimes clashing over policy recommendations in an increasingly partisan environment beset by the passage of term limits, deep budget cuts, and recession.

Opinion

Schools to lawmakers: Repeal the reserve cap

Blocks and crayons in a California classroom.(Photo illustration: Blade Tucker

OPINION: Late last year, the Legislature passed a fiscally irresponsible law that prevents local school districts from maintaining prudent budget reserves necessary to prepare for future economic downturns, to invest in classroom improvements, and to protect our students. As ridiculous as that sounds, unfortunately that’s the reality. That’s why thousands of educators, including school board members, school district officials, community members, parents and others are calling for the Legislature to repeal the local school district reserve cap.

News

Water rights’ cost draws scrutiny

The Mokulumne River. Photo: Mountain Counties Water Resources Association)

A provision in California’s landmark 2014 Water Bond Act, Proposition 1, might lead California into overspending on water, something that has drawn concerns from the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser.

News

Legislative legacy: Big bucks for retirees’ health care

Cannery Row workers of the 1950s depicted in an artistic cutout. (Photo: Mr. Interior/Shutterstock)

The debt or “unfunded liability” state Controller John Chiang reported last week for state worker retiree health care, $72 billion, is larger than the unfunded liability for state worker pensions reported by CalPERS in April, $50 billion. It’s a legislative legacy, a debt for state worker services received by one generation that lawmakers decided to let the next generations inherit.

Opinion

Non-profit hospitals’ status raises questions

OPINION: Once again the California Hospital Association is mounting a crusade that the survival of the multibillion-dollar California hospital industry is in grave jeopardy. The threat? Earthquakes? Climate change? Godzilla? Not exactly. The big threat is AB 503, a bill that would let the public know whether non-profit hospital corporations justify their enormously profitable tax-exempt status by providing sufficient charity care and community benefits.

News

Clock ticking on CalSTRS shortfall

Getting CalSTRS back to full funding, if rates are steadily increased over the next half dozen years, would take an annual increase reaching more than $5 billion a year by 2020 — about what the state general fund currently spends on UC and CSU combined. (Photo: CalSTRS lobby, Paul Housberg)

News

LAO eyes pension initiative

A major public pension reform initiative got a mixed cost analysis last week from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. The measure would give state and local governments the option of cutting retirement benefits current workers earn in the future, while preserving benefits already earned through past service.

News

Budget bubble: Is past prologue?

Buoyed by a soaring stock market and rising home prices, personal income tax receipts are flowing into the state treasury at a rate exceeding all expectations. But one big question looms as lawmakers and the governor consider how to spend the government’s new found riches: what will happen when the music stops?

News

UC money trail strewn with bumps

The governor, who has described himself as tight with a buck, set out to prove it before the UC Regents when he said they needed to bite into a “reality sandwich” if they were thinking of getting more than a 5 percent hike in state funds. The increase Brown granted in this year’s budget was relatively modest but desperately needed to fill some gaps for UC.

News

A nonpartisan referee in California’s budget battles

In the upper levels of California government, Mac Taylor is indeed a rarity – he’s nonpartisan.

 

As the Legislative Analyst – he’s only the fifth one since the office was created 72 years ago – Taylor is the taxpayers’ watchdog over budget and ballot measures and their potential costs.  He is the Legislature’s nonpartisan

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