State Budget

State Budget

Under Pressure: Concerns Remain About Safety and Capacity Under Realignment

The pressure placed upon county jails under realignment continues to raise concerns across the state as counties not only struggle to make room for an influx of inmates but also handle the ramifications of releasing less-serious offenders in order to increase capacity. Take Riverside County, which has released 1,500 offenders early in the past five months, which means law enforcement authorities have to use their best judgment deciding which inmates should reasonably be let go.

LAO Dissect Governor’s Budget Estimates; Says Deficit is Likely Higher

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office has now released its take of the governor’s May Budget Revise and the key takeaway is the assertion that the projected deficit may be higher than the $15.7 billion estimate put forth by the governor. While the LAO describes the administration's economic and revenue forecasts as “reasonable,” it posits the deficit is likely closer to $17 billion and that the governor is overstating the amount of property tax revenues the state will rake in from former redevelopment agencies.

Guv Changes Course on Closing CA’s Youth Prisons; Counties to be Charged for Inmates

Citing the burden that counties are already grappling with, the governor has changed course on a plan to close California’s youth prison system, the Division of Juvenile Justice. As part of his budget proposal, the governor previously suggested several months ago that the state should no longer accept serious and violent youthful offenders so that all young inmates could be shifted to counties, thereby extending the reach of realignment.

Governor Urges Voters to Approve Tax Hikes; CSAC Releases Analysis of May Revision

Now that the governor has released his May Revise, the blowback is continuing to take shape as impacted parties, including counties, grapple with how the budget will create reductions in programs and services across the state. CSAC has applauded the fact that the revision sustains funding for realignment, which remains a key issue for counties. It is projected that sales tax revenue and Vehicle License Fee (VLF) revenues allocated for realignment will grow from $5.8 billion in FY 2012-12 to $6.8 billion in FY 2014-15.

Counties and Communities Scramble to Save State Parks from Closure

Communities and officials in counties across the state are having varying degrees of success keeping state parks open before around 70 are forced to close their doors this summer. It has fallen to counties, as well as for-profit concessionaires, nonprofit organizations, cities, donors, and the National Park Service to come together in order to form arrangements that will keep beloved parks available for the public’s use.

Budget Worries Remain as State Revenue Falls Short in Controller’s Latest Update

The state continues to fall behind in revenues, according to the State Controller’s latest financial report. Monthly revenues came in $2.44 billion below (-20.2 percent) the latest projections contained in the Governor's proposed 2012-13 Budget. So what in particular led to April’s shortfall? Personal income tax receipts were a big factor because they came in $1.96 billion below (-21.5 percent) projections; in addition, sales taxes were also down by $445.8 million (-54.4 percent).

Budget Report Cause for Concern in Stanislaus; Leaders Criticize State

A third-quarter budget report to county leaders in Stanislaus was less than encouraging because it warned that the county’s current reliance on savings is simply unsustainable. Back in September supervisors approved a budget that had a $54 million deficit and that number has reportedly grown in recent months. The total fund balance is projected to shrink from $358 million to $285 million in July.

New Tribal Compact in Sonoma County Alarms other Tribes; Stronger Focus on Local Impacts

At the end of March, the governor announced that he had signed a new Indian gambling compact with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria so that a new casino could be developed in Sonoma County. If it moves forward, the 3,000-slot-machine project would quickly become the county’s largest employer, but its impact would go beyond job creation and thus the compact calls for the tribe to go to great lengths to mitigate the impacts of the casino’s presence in the region when it comes to traffic, public safety, and the environment.

Riverside Supervisors Endorse Bill that Restores Funds to New Cities; Delay Rescue Plan

On April 18, the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance will hold a hearing on SB 1566, a bill that now has the official support of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. When the state snatched up millions in revenues from Vehicle License Fees under SB 89, cities were irate, and new cities were left in a particularly precarious financial position.

State Revenues Trail Expectations in Controller’s New Cash Update

An optimistic view for the months ahead will be necessary after State Controller John Chiang announced this week that the state’s monthly revenues still missed the mark when it came to meeting the estimates contained in the Governor's proposed 2012-13 Budget. Overall, revenues fell $233.5 million below (-4.2 percent) projections. Corporate tax receipts in particular were sluggish, as they came in $125.8 million below (-8.2 percent) estimates. Personal income taxes were down also $41.4 million (-1.8 percent), as were sales taxes (fell short by $25.7 million or -1.7 percent).

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