Budget

Budget

SF Chronicle: Reading between the lines of Newsom’s ‘deferred’ budget: Screw the kids

Shohei Ohtani is the only major league baseball player who can hit and pitch at an elite level.

Perhaps he should manage California’s state budget, too.

Govern For California

Budget

Mr. Newsom Makes My Case

The Newsom Administration is circulating a rebuttal to my criticism of the Governor’s Proposed 2024-25 Budget. As a reminder, that criticism is that Mr. Newsom proposes to draw on the Rainy Day Fund even though the country is not in a recession and doing so would seriously impair the state’s ability to preserve public services in a recession.

David Crane

Budget

The Kounalakis Tax Increase

Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and every other candidate for governor in 2026 should be paying very close attention to the Multiyear Forecast in Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget.

David Crane

Budget

Has Mr. Newsom Resurrected A Gimmick?

Next week my students will start reading through Governor Newsom’s proposed state budget for the next fiscal year, which was released today. Before they do, I’ll be sending them a 2019 column from the LA Times entitled, “The one-day, $1-billion California budget gimmick that has lasted for almost a decade,” which is about a budgetary maneuver employed in 2009.

David Crane

Budget

Mr. Newsom’s LBJ Moment

Last month, I wrote about the unique opportunity Governor Newsom has with his next budget to “reinvent government” as he called for in his 2014 book, Citizenville. Next week we will learn if he plans to do so.

David Crane

Budget

Decoding CAʼs Budget

Last week the Orange County Register published a lengthy article about California’s skyrocketing spending and budget deficit that included some comments from the Department of Finance and Legislative Analyst’s Office that might lead readers to conclude incorrectly that the governor and legislators don’t have authority over much spending. Some of the comments are non-controversial but some incorrectly imply a lack of authority over statutory spending, some are imprecise about funding sources, and some are striking in their omissions.

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: Legislators

Citizenville: Now Is The Time

In 2013, then-Lieutenant-Governor Gavin Newsom published a book entitled “Citizenville” in which he argued for a government that kept pace with changes elsewhere in society. Asserting that “we must inject a more innovative, entrepreneurial mind-set into government,” Mr. Newsom wrote that “we simply cannot have a government that relies on bureaucracy and maintaining the status quo.” I hoped his vision would be realized. But a decade later, half of which Mr. Newsom has presided over as governor, California’s bureaucracy is bigger than ever, residents would be hard-pressed to point to a single innovation, and the status quo is still the status quo.

David Crane

Budget

Spending Growth In CA

General Fund Expenditures Per Capita have climbed 63.9% since Governor Newsom took office, growing at more than twice the annual rate at which those expenditures grew under Governor Brown (10.4% vs. 4.7%):

David Crane

Budget

Bad Budget News In California

Last Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported U.S. GDP grew at a 5.2% clip in the third quarter. The next day, Governor Newsom told a debate audience that the economy is “booming.” But Friday, California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office said that state tax revenues are falling far short of forecasts. When combined with General Fund spending that has grown more than 50 percent over the last five years, the drop in revenues portends another large budget deficit for California.

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: LegislatorsOPEB

Economic Growth Continues

Dear Legislators,

This week the Biden Administration announced that personal income rose 0.4% in April, consumers increased spending sharply, U.S. economic activity is at its highest pace in more than a year, and the unemployment rate is at an envious 3.4 percent.

Govern For California

BudgetCalls to Action: LegislatorsOPEBTaxes

CA’s Tax Increase In Waiting

Yesterday the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released its Multiyear Budget Outlook through fiscal year 2026-27, forecasting $52 billion of deficits over that period.

Govern For California

BudgetOPEB

Addressing CA’s Budget Deficit

We couldn’t agree more with Legislative Analyst Gabe Petek that it’s best to solve the deficit without using reserves, which are already woefully short of the amounts needed to protect essential services in the event of a recession.

Govern For California

Budget

Addressing California’s Budget Shortfall

The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has forecast a budget shortfall of $25 billion for Fiscal 2023-24 even if a recession does not occur.

Govern For California

BudgetTaxes

A Dangerous May Revision

We scratched our heads Friday when — despite a steep fall-off in the stock market and a first quarter contraction of the US economy — we learned the May Revision of the Governor’s Proposed Budget expects rosy tax revenues for the 2022-23 fiscal year commencing July 1. After reading the document, we learned how that happened:

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: Legislators

Our View Of Governor’s Proposed 2022-23 Budget

Earlier this week DOF released the Governor’s Proposed Budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. At 400 pages it takes time, a process we have now completed. Some initial thoughts follow:

Govern For California

BudgetCalls to Action: Legislators

Governor’s Proposed Budget

Tomorrow the CA Department of Finance will release the “Governor’s Proposed Budget” for the 2022-23 fiscal year that commences July 1. At nearly 300 pages, it is one of two documents providing deep insight into the state government.* I’ve been reading them for nearly two decades now and offer a few tips:

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: Legislators

Immediate Disclosure Required

In January, the 2022-23 Governor’s Budget will be made public, after which public hearings will commence, followed by public distribution of the May Revision to the Governor’s Budget and public enactment of the budget by June 30. Guess what’s not public during that period? Political donations from beneficiaries of budget spending.

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: Legislators

Assembly and Senate 2022-23 Budget Blueprints

Dear Legislators,

We enjoyed reading the Senate Budget Plan and Assembly Budget Blueprint for 2022-23. These items stood out to us:

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: Legislators

Stress Testing In Sacramento

Dear Legislators,

In January the Department Of Finance will issue the Governor’s Budget for 2022-23. No section will be more important than the Stress Test, which forecasts revenue losses in the event of a stock market decline such as in 2001-3 and 2008-9.

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: LegislatorsK-12 Education

LAO’s Impossible Task

Dear Legislators,

The Legislative Analyst’s Office is filled with talented people who occasionally take on impossible tasks. Take LAO’s recent Fiscal Outlook for Schools in which it boldly predicts that “capital gains revenue [will be] strong in 2022‑23.” I can’t predict the stock market next week much less next year but unlike the state I’m not depending on it to finance schools that require stable annual funding. If I did, I’d keep loads of cash on hand. That’s because the annual performance of stock markets looks like this:

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: Legislators

CA Needs $100 Billion In Reserves

California needs at least $100 billion of reserves. Don’t take our word for it. See page 245 of the Governor’s Budget:

David Crane

BudgetCalls to Action: Legislators

Undemocratic Nondisclosure In California

From January through June last year, the California Legislature held hearings about a proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year that allocated the majority of $300 billion of spending to healthcare corporations and government employees who — during that very same period — made political donations to lawmakers that weren’t disclosed until July 31, a month after the budget had been signed into law.

David Crane

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Mission

To counter special interest influence and to support like-minded organizations.