Paving a Way Out: Options for Managing California’s Rising Retirement Healthcare Costs
By Adam Tatum on Apr 18, 2013Rising retiree healthcare costs is one of the emerging problems that state and local governments face nationwide. The true costs of providing promised healthcare and other non-pension benefits to retirees became clear when the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) mandated public disclosure of these costs and liabilities in fiscal year 2008. Since then, policy makers have gradually shifted their attention toward limiting this cost growth. Still, growing liabilities and annual out-of-pocket costs now exert increasing strain on government budgets. Includes summary video.
Case Study: City of Los Angeles’s Pension Slide, 2002-03 vs 2012-13
By Adam Tatum on Feb 28, 2013Analysis of the city of Los Angeles’s pension system – the growth of the city’s pension expenses, the causes of the growth, and the challenges the city faces in handling their pension problems. The city faces year-after-year deficits, including a $222 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year and a forecasted $427 million deficit for fiscal year 2014-15. City leaders have raised concerns the city’s financial difficulties and observers have warned of potential bankruptcy.
Case Study: California’s Budget Transformation, 2007-08 to 2013-14
By Autumn Carter on Feb 19, 2013On January 10, 2013, Governor Brown presented a balanced budget for the coming fiscal year, which will begin on July 1. No proposed budget had purported to be balanced since Governor Schwarzenegger’s 2007-08 budget, which he presented in January 2007. While both the 2013-14 and 2007-08 proposed budgets purported to be balanced, their overall compositions are quite different. Since 2007-08, some budget areas have fared much better than others, and some much worse.
California’s Initiative System: The Voice of the People Co-Opted
By Mike Polyakov on Oct 31, 2012In this report, we examine the races that attracted the most money and where that money originated. We analyzed spending data for ballot measures races occurring between 2000 through the end of May 2012. Though our high level discussion includes recent spending numbers on November 2012 proposition races, our detailed data analysis does not.
Independent Expenditures: The New Money in California Politics
By Mike Polyakov on Oct 18, 2012Our report examines the $220 million in independent expenditures spent on candidate races in California since 2000, focusing on the 106 organizations and committees that spent all but $25 million of it.
Winners and Losers: Corrections and Higher Education in California
By Prerna Anand on Sep 5, 2012This report presents a number of the trends in higher education and the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) over the last three decades. It collects previously unavailable or scattered data for a variety of measures including system population by groups, numbers and salaries of general staff and primary service providers, and overall expenditures for the period 1980-2011, with 1980 being the earliest date for which comprehensive data is available for both systems.
Our Cities Need Preventive Care Too: How Pre-Funding and Policy Changes Can Help CA Cities Manage Growing Retiree Benefit Costs
By Adam Tatum on Aug 2, 2012Together, California’s 20 largest cities (by budget) currently have already promised $16 billion in non-pension benefits to their current and future retirees, and $12 billion of that remains unfunded. These non-pension benefits, or Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEBs), largely consist of retiree health care.