States deliver the vast majority of public services and pass the vast majority of laws affecting jobs.
Under the U.S. Constitution, states are primarily responsible for delivering domestic services including schools, transit systems, safe drinking water, police and fire protection and other services critical to jobs, public health and safety. Neither the federal government nor charities come close to providing the level of domestic services delivered by state governments. States also write most of the employment-related laws.
In the 2017-18 fiscal year, California’s state government will:
- Run public K-university education systems hosting nine million students;
- Pass laws and issue regulations affecting the jobs, wages and economic prospects of nearly 20 million workers and the health and safety of nearly 40 million residents;
- Finance healthcare for 14 million Californians;
- Determine the size of prison populations, the extent of social safety nets, the number of parks and recreation centers open to the public, the quality of our environment, the funding and maintenance of public transportation systems, and the state of our infrastructure;
- Levy more than $180 billion in taxes and fees and direct the spending of nearly $300 billion including federal funds; and
- Award tens of billions of dollars in salaries and retirement promises to government employees and select the members of state boards investing hundreds of billions of dollars set aside to protect future budgets and taxpayers from having to pay more to meet those promises.