Posts Tagged: fiscal

News

Lobbying bills on the floors of the Legislature

The chamber of the state Senate in Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov, via Shutterstock)

In simplistic terms, lobbying the state Senate and Assembly floors is similar to lobbying legislative committees, except that the scale is much larger. For example, some committees have as few five members (elected officials), while others have over 20 members. As you would assume, most committees in the 40-member Senate have fewer members sitting on them than do their counterparts in the 80-member Assembly.

News

A primer for lobbying bills in legislative committees

The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Always Wanderlust, via Shutterstock)

When preparing to lobby legislative committees, the focus is on legislative staff and then legislators. There are two types of staff for our purposes: committee and member. Committee staff, referred to as committee consultants, are those who work directly for the legislative policy or fiscal committees. Member staff are those who work directly for an Assembly member or senator.

News

Gabriel Petek is Legislature’s new nonpartisan fiscal guru

Gabriel Petek, the new head of the Office of the Legislative Analyst, or LAO. (Photo: Courtesy of Gabriel Petek)

A Wall Street public finance expert who says analyzing California’s fiscal condition was the “defining passion” of his career is the state’s new legislative analyst. He is Gabriel Petek, 47, who until recently was Standard and Poor’s chief credit analyst covering California from an office in San Francisco.

Opinion

Leadership must act now on climate change

Solar panels arrayed in the Mojave Desert. (Photo: Andrei Orlov, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: As firefighters from across the West come together to battle wildfires, and legislators meet for their last week of this year’s legislative session, our state’s leadership has before them a real opportunity to take decisive action to help mitigate the climate trends that are weighing on our state today.

Analysis

Inside the Capitol: Should Joint Rule 10.5 be changed?

The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Kris Wiktor)

The burning question of the day: Should Joint Rule 10.5 be changed? If you, like most normal people, have little interest in the Capitol’s battles, then this question prompts a big yawn. But if you engage in the interminable wars over legislation, then this issue is a very, very big deal. So pay attention, you may be tested on this later.

News

Overhaul urged for California court fines

A photo illustration of court finances. (Rusian Grumble, Shutterstock)

California’s courts impose hundreds of millions of dollars of “excessive and disproportionate” fines each year for common infractions, then use much of the money to support their own operations. A blue-ribbon panel examining the system said the fines should be collected by the executive branch — not the courts themselves — to avoid conflicts.

Opinion

Wanted: An early warning system for local governments

Pedestrians crossing Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. (Photo: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock)

OPINION: Back in 2012, then Treasurer Bill Lockyer called for an early warning system that would give state officials time to proactively address local government fiscal emergencies before they wound up in bankruptcy court. We are now five years closer to the next recession and its attendant set of local government financial crises, but the state has made little progress toward implementing Lockyer’s proposed system.

News

State Bar asks CA Supreme Court for bailout

Photo illustration of Lady Justice. (Kaspars Grinvalds)

Blocked by lawmakers at the 11th hour and facing a fiscal emergency, the State Bar of California went directly to the state Supreme Court seeking authority to levy dues on thousands of attorneys. The Bar, which filed the request Friday, said it would go out of business early next year without the money generated by the dues.

News

Fiscal outlook brighter — but fingers crossed

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, the Legislature's nonpartisan fiscal adviser, unveils the latest budget projections. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli

California, long bedeviled by daunting budget deficits, is likely to end the next fiscal year with $4.2 billion in reserve, with half that amount due to a budget-reform measure that voters approved on Nov. 4, according to the Legislature’s nonpartisan financial adviser.

News

Calpers: Average service, high costs

Calpensions: A new comparison with four other large public pension funds found that CalPERS, while scoring average on service, had high pension administration costs — $213 per member a year, nearly twice the average of $108 per member.

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